My name is LARRY VINCENT. I'm a writer, speaker, photographer and lovable nerd based in Los Angeles. When I'm not writing here about things that inspire me, I look after The Brand Studio at United Talent Agency.
There isn’t a bigger forum for television advertising than the Super Bowl. It was once Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry rolled into one—a place for brands and their agencies to raise the stakes and entertain the largest television audience in the world. Some of the most memorable advertisements of all time debuted on a Super Bowl broadcast. So, why was 2013 so lackluster?
My Monday morning ritual is deeply ingrained. I arrive early to find a stack of advertising and media trades to digest before launching into my client work for the week. One of those trades is AdWeek. I’ve been reading it for years but only recently noticed a new behavior on my part. When I come across the review of the week’s featured campaign I have to fire up my browser and search for the spot online so that I can view it. In years past this would have never been the case. I would have seen the spot during my television viewing. Lately, I can’t recall which advertisements I’ve seen on television.
The US Marines Corps has just introduced a new advertising campaign entitled “Toward the Sound of Chaos.” The campaign builds off of research conducted by JWT that demonstrates potential recruits value “helping people in need.” This data point has been verified in numerous other studies I’ve written about in this blog and in my new book, Brand Real. Justice and community are consistently listed by young people 18-24 as important values that they seek in their brands.
This campaign is a significant reframing of the Marines as a brand. The question is: do you think it represents a new promise? And if so, is it credible? Check out the whole campaign, including an original series of videos created for Facebook.
Think you know the Johnnie Walker brand story? The way the story’s being told outside Western markets might surprise you. Check out this short film by documentarian Jia Zang Khe—one of several running now in China and produced by advertising agency BBH. What does it say to you about this venerable spirits brand?
Too many brands and advertisers try to sell you on cultural norms — you should use our product because everyone else does. They try to pander to social paranoia. There’s nothing I love more than a brand that says, “maybe you’re not for us.” The new Miller High Life campaign achieves that goal. It takes a decidedly strong point of view with a comic twist. It’s tied to sports and manhood and common sense, and it delights in every way. I may actually be thirsty for a Miller.
When my daughter Jordan was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in 2003, our whole family began a journey that has led us through many unexpected twists and turns. I write about this ongoing adventure and the girl that is my muse here.