Brands Were Branding

It’s crazy!

Brands were picking identities and going deep with their commercials tonight. Single identities with clearly definable attributes. No complex (and confusing) identities. Everyone picked a beautiful, simple reflection of society and went as deep as they could in 30-60 seconds.

Great job everyone!

It’s been awhile since I have seen consumer brands pick an identity and so clearly execute a deep and thoughtful commercial that STUCK TO IT!

Here are some of my favorite.

#BestBuds – Budweiser

The entire commercial was about what you do when you’re someone’s bud.

You protect them. You introduce them to your other friends. You search for endless hours when they are lost. You miss them when they don’t return. You freak out when they do.

Entirely seamless and perfectly executed.

Budweiser Identity = Your friend through thick and thin

Dove Men+Care: Real Strength

Dove is OWNING the ‘real is best’ space. Not just for women, but now for men who feel pressured to be strong.

Showing their sensitive side as a father makes a man stronger. Perfectly executed and no deviation from the brand’s script.

Dove Identity = Real is best

Bud Light – Real Life Pacman

Bud Light has been killing this space for awhile, but they keep one-upping themselves. Going bigger and bigger with the crazy things they do.

This commercial, whether is was real or not, did it’s job. Bud Light wants to say “have epic fun” without encouraging the stereotypes tied up in partying. What better way than to play real life Pacman at a huge dance party?

By using positive and thoroughly fun events, like Pacman, Bud Light continually owns the “have epic harmless adventure” space.

Bud Light Identity = Let’s have a wholesome and epic adventure!

Weight Watchers – Take Back Control

It’s been awhile since I have seen a Weight Watchers ad.

This was a solid play by their team. They hit on something we all have felt: We can’t control our own consumption habits because society doesn’t let us.

As their debut back into the competitive world of diet planning, this is a great move. Beyond just echoing that our society wants to be healthier, they recognized something else we also value: the ability to control our lives.

Thank you Weight Watchers for reminding us that we are major control freaks.

Weight Watchers Identity = You can take back control of your health.

McDonald’s – Pay With Lovin’

Wow. What an attempt at a brand evolution by Micky D’s.

Maybe it’s a hard sell to society, but at least they executed this well.

McDonald’s used their classic ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ line and actually made their customers demonstrate some act of love before they could purchase their meal.

The gem in this play was that McDonald’s moved the focus from their restaurant and it’s value to commenting on a need in society. We all need more lovin’.

Sure, MAYBE you can Pay With Lovin’ next time you get a Big Mac, but that isn’t the point.

The point is they picked a need in society, reflected it, and went DEEP! They didn’t confuse the message by plugging a sandwich or new nuggets. They left it at “ I’m Lovin’ It

McDonald’s Identity = Love is valuable

Do you see the trend??

Everyone is picking a space AND STAYING THERE! Very few generic ‘rah-rah’ car commercials, no more basic ‘wow me’ style ads. Not a lot here that didn’t dive beneath the surface and attempt to own a DEFINED space.

These CMOs are recognizing that we have limited attention spans and that they need to GO DEEP when they do have our attention. Consistency around ONE CORE VALUE is key. If it is good, we bite. If not, we forget immediately.

Let the branding arms race begin.


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Posted on March 23, 2015 in Blog

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