How about a little shameless brand punditry (but with depth, duh!) to close out 2012? In true pundit style, below are my comments about other people's comments about ads from this past year.
AdAge recently published their favorite advertising campaigns from 2012. My favorite among them is Nike's "Find Your Greatness" campaign. The campaign launched with a jogging themed ad that features a chubby boy running down the road toward the camera. The advertisement perfectly personifies Nike's "everyone is an athlete" brand philosophy. Furthermore, the simplicity, memorability and a motivating element bolster its greatness.
Additionally, I enjoy the McDonald's Canada "Your Questions" campaign, particularly the ad that delves into the sourcing of its french fries. But it's a lot of information to digest. McDonald's could build an offline campaign around these videos that highlights its attributes like "we only cook with vegetable oil." There could be ten more great ads in that one. Still, McDonald's should be cautious about running on healthy foods platform because that's a battle they will rarely win.
The rest of them, for one reason or other, I'm less of an admirer. While the popular DirecTV "don't end up" campaign is entertaining, its message is lost in repetitive story, not enhanced by it. The frustrations of dealing with cable companies is only briefly mentioned in the beginning and soon becomes an afterthought to a slapstick story.
Speaking of wild, the Old Spice "Muscle Music" campaign remains wildly creative but completely fails to even hint at points of attribute differentiation. Unfortunately, they've been beating that drum for way too long and keep receiving industry acclaim for it.
Contrary to AdAge, Adweek published their top twenty brand fails this week. It surprisingly included category-leading blue-chip brands Amazon, Wal-Mart, Ikea, KitchenAid and Stubhub, as well as strong niche leaders Popchips, the Gap, Burger King, Bic and Huggies.
What really stood in Adweek's analysis is how major brands messed up. Perhaps this fact is due in part to major brands, for better or for worse, receiving more scrutiny from publications like Adweek. However, its soft evidence to the extreme importance of a good strategy. Despite their well-publicized tactical goofs, consumers will soon forget because staying in the mind requires consistent and repeated contact of a unique proposition. Therefore, no one will easily forget who the world's largest bookstore is unless Amazon lets them.