Anatomy of an Ad: Reality + Gestalt

February 27, 2009

Like the Reality Coalition needs any help from us — I think I saw this spot between every break last night. But here is our quick take on why it works. First, the ad is good. Every piece works — clever copy, art, and acting. The logo fits to a T, playing on the age-old metaphor of the canary in the coal mine. Simple yet striking in yellow and black. (The x-d out eyes are the cherry on the sundae.) But what really sets off this campaign is the Gestalt effect — the whole being more than the sum of its parts. That is the biggest takeaway. More than being a good spot, this has story appeal as the Coen Brothers directed it. Once that circulated, it gave added impact to the ad itself thus making the whole package — the story — more than the sum of its parts. People might have tuned in to a good commercial. But a good commercial with a memorable story (you have to see what the Coen Bros. would do with this) is clear winner.

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.