Sunday, June 04, 2006

Magical Moments

Once in a while you see an ad on TV that really just gets it right...it works. The music, images, expressions - they all work together perfectly. The product being advertised becomes incidental to the moment taking place in front of you. I'm not speaking from a designer's perspective - critiquing the artistic level of the ad, nor am I speaking from a consumer's perspective - assessing the effectiveness of the ad in making me want to go out and buy their product. Rather, I'm speaking purely from a human perspective - the way the ad made me feel and the overall effect it had on me. Three ads have really done it for me. Here they are in chronological order starting with the most recent (click on the links to watch):

Sony Bravia (2005) - I've posted about this before. This is a beautifully done ad - the song ("Heartbeats" by José González) fits perfectly, and the concept is just so creative. When I first saw it online a few months ago it just silenced me - I was captivated. It stirred up so many different emotions in me. It made me feel happy and peaceful. I love how you don't even know what the ad is for until the very end - in the meantime you get to enjoy the magic and the colours without feeling like someone is trying to sell you something. In fact, at no point do you feel like a consumer. Someone just wants to show you what the world would be like if you were constantly surrounded by beautiful colours. And for that reason, I'm sold - when it comes time for me to buy a proper TV in my own home, I'm going for a Sony Bravia.

VW Cabrio (2000) - This came out while I was still an undergrad. I love Nick Drake and so the song ("Pink Moon") was just perfect. I loved it when I first saw it because I perfectly understood that feeling. I had nights like that before in college - a night when there was supposed to be something really "great" going on - a good party or whatever - and yet doing "nothing" that night with close friends was just so much more appealing (like laying in the grass along the Potomac River or hanging out at the Lincoln Memorial all night). Our life in Kuwait has become like that - how many times has there been a really big party or event going on, and our close group has opted out and snuck off to chalet alone to sit around the dining table playing Uno and to go nightswimming? Also, I've always loved VW's and it's probably the only car I'll ever drive. My first car was a VW Passat (still my current car in Kuwait), which I got when I moved back to Kuwait after university, and the first song I played in it to christen it was Nick Drake's "Pink Moon".

Swatch: "How long is a Swatch minute?"* (1997) - This came out during my freshman year in college. My sisters and I loved it, and "Red" (my older sister) and I were trying to find out who the song was by. That summer we were in Italy as usual with our family, and it was a World Cup year (1998). An Italian family friend had given me and my sisters a mix of some music for some reason and I remember the three of us sitting on the floor next to the stereo listening to it while my parents were on the couch. Suddenly the opening bars of the song came on and the three of us gasped and I remember Red screaming and literally jumping on top of me in excitement, while my mother laughed at her daughters' antics and my father was just like "what just happened?" It was actually a very beautiful family moment - a lovely memory. The song is by Midge Ure, former frontman of the 80s band Ultravox, and is called "Breathe".

There's one more ad that stands out in my memory but I haven't been able to find it online at all, and I've searched around a lot. It was a Levi's 501 commercial from around 1991 (my sister Raine is beaming right now at the memory of me singing along to it). I used to love it so much, and it also used to give me such a feel-good feeling. It's a shame I can't find it anywhere - although I know we have it recorded on video somewhere in Kuwait. "The way it is, it shall be, just like my Levi's 501 jeans, it's got to be (it's gotta be, it's gotta be), it's gotta be...got to be real!" Aaahh, memories!

Feel free to add your own favourites!

*This is the only link I found online - you have to create an account to watch it, but you can create a one-day trial account for free in a few seconds if you're interested - when you've put in your details they'll immediately send you an Email with your username and password. Once you've done that do an advanced search for brand Swatch and director Garry Jones and it'll come up. Then click on the little eye icon under the picture and it'll play.


  • Thank you for posting this :))

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 6/05/2006 12:05 pm  

  • Erzulie: You're welcome! But why exactly? Share!! :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 6/06/2006 3:21 am  

  • i loved the ivory coast ads we saw at adeaters. they were my fave. you could never really figure out what it was they were selling, though.

    By Anonymous edo rex, at 6/06/2006 7:01 am  

  • Great post! The Levi's ad!!!!! I had forgotten all about that!!! We HAVE to find it. And the compilation from that Italian guy - who was he again? Do you remember this part, "And this next song is going out to Dr. B's band..." HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Raine, at 6/06/2006 8:13 am  

  • P.S. I commented on some of your earlier posts, too :)

    By Blogger Raine, at 6/06/2006 8:14 am  

  • Edo Rex: Yes those were hilarious. And the juice one: Hej!! But don't know about the feel-good factor in those, though. :)

    Raine: His name was Richard I think (he was half British or something). Remember he once took me and you out to that indie CD store to get music? Kinda wierd, considering how we knew him! But he also worked at one of the radio stations. And yes I remember that part LOL!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 6/06/2006 1:28 pm  

  • LOL...yeah the "Hej" ad was priceless!

    But to comment on your post, i totally agree with u. Coming from an Advertising background (which is my hobby and career), I go for a product in which the ad made me feel good overall. Although creativity is important in selling the product, its not the trigger that makes me go out and get the product. Some ads are extremely creative, but it does not do the job in promoting the product effectively...it becomes rather the issue of how creative the ad is and totally ignore the product. Ads that makes me think beyond the product, strong messages, music, and memories that it sparks...those are the ads that work for me :) So I totally agree with you. Since I love ads, I can't remember for the love of God any right now :S

    But great post...you inspired me to post something similar :)

    By Blogger Jazz Central, at 6/07/2006 10:01 am  

  • From an advertising/design perspective, I would think that the Sony Bravia ad is the best of the three. It is so creative, beautifully done, and it triggers such emotion! Plus, it does a good marketing job, subtly - which is always the best way!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 6/10/2006 8:06 pm  

  • That VW ad makes me feel so sad and happy. Exactly the same feeling that the Bravia ad gives me and the Ure song as well. The VW ad reminds me of you guys visiting during Thanksgiving for some strange reason. The Ure song just reminds me of Italy and our amazing, unforgettable, life-changing summers there. What do we do with all this nostalgia? You and Raine have me crawling in it (see Raine's lastest post). I'm there most of the time anyway; this stuff just reinforces my backward-glancing tendencies.

    By Anonymous red, at 6/11/2006 10:10 am  

  • I know the nostalgia is overwhelming. Between childhood, adolescence, college, ASK, Italy, California, DC, Paris, Kuwait (for me) - it's too much!

    It does remind me of Thanksgivings, it's true. Aww, see those are more beautiful memories. And yes, the Italy trips - what is there to possibly say about them? They were unreal. You're right that they were life-changing. So many of my "rites of passage" happened there. I never feel as relaxed anywhere in the world as I do over there. So many of our most precious family memories were there. Like - Pierro: "Iss finish!" Dad - "What does that mean?!" :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 6/12/2006 6:22 pm  

  • Pierro!

    By Blogger Raine, at 6/17/2006 8:38 pm  

  • Aaah, the stud that is Pierro. Remember when he came over cos he bought us the Italian football booklet things?

    By Blogger Kleio, at 6/18/2006 2:25 am  

  • Hey, are you still looking for the Levi's commercial from the early 90s? I have the audio track (no video). I'd be happy to send it to you, just let me know -- parf78@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Mark, at 3/11/2007 11:00 pm  

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