Too often, smooth-talking Mad Men seduce gullible clients into a different approach. They push unrelated, entertainment-based "big ideas." They promise that celebrities (see "Bud Light Party") or movie-set thrills (see the James Bond action now thankfully in Heineken's past) are enough to deliver advertising success. But while these showy efforts may be big entertainment ideas, they're certainly not advertising.
We never bothered to wonder what would happen if a beer brand decided to spend half its ad on pointless entertainment, before getting to its product-distinctiveness story. Perhaps we should have.
Here's Blue Moon taking this peculiar approach...
Spoken over visuals of cut-out paper-city scenes, we hear the announcer's voice:
"When I have an idea brewing, anything's possible."
(Sounds like an ad for a financial services company.)
"Start where it all began."
"You think about where you've been."
(Ah, yes, it must be a financial services ad!)
"You decide where you're going."
(And I need the right broker to get me there, right?)
"You consider the flavors." [We see oranges falling.]
(Wut? Flavors? I thought we were talking about investments.)
"And then you bring them together to create something new."
(I am so lost.)
Any viewers who haven't given up by this point--and we figure that's definitely the minority--finally get the product-distinctiveness claim. The notion of beer and the brand name are introduced with just 6 seconds remaining as we hear what makes this brand distinctive: "artfully brewed with Valencia orange peel and a touch of coriander."
In journalism, this is called burying the lede.
In advertising, it's called wasting half your money... or more.
Like a neon sign on half-power.