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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old December 21st, 2008, 11:54 PM   #1
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Your favorite commercials and techniques?

I've been paying a lot more attention to techniques in commercials lately.
Anyone have any favorites?
I'll start. I really like the cinematic way the Dow Chemical ones are done.
The Geico commercials are pretty funny, also.
Also, there's one for - I can't even remember what for, I think it's a restaurant, but there's little red and green pieces (chiles?) arranging themselves on the screen. Pretty cool.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 01:15 AM   #2
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I just saw a Louis Vuitton commercial on the travel channel just now, the photography was absolutely gorgeous! No special effects, just great artsy shots one after another.

One of my alltime favorite commercial was the original "where's the beef?? a couple of decades ago. Before that, it was the crying Indian chief overlooking polluted America.

I've been seeing the recent Geico commercial, the one in the boardroom with everyone wondering what the squeaking sound was. In the end, there is a shot of a pile of money with eyes as a window washer... but I don't get it, and neither does my wife. Could someone please explain that one....
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 01:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I've been seeing the recent Geico commercial, the one in the boardroom with everyone wondering what the squeaking sound was. In the end, there is a shot of a pile of money with eyes as a window washer... but I don't get it, and neither does my wife. Could someone please explain that one....
I thought that one was kinda funny, but really liked the caveman ones the best. And the 'but I have good news' ones. Those were really clever.

I think I've seen that Louis Vuitton one. If it's the one I"m thinking of, it's really nice.

Remember the old 'this is your brain on drugs' ones? Those were brilliant.

And the Travelocity gnome? Love it.

And though this is more just about the commercial than the technique, Kathy Bates advertising Direct TV was hilarious. "...now THAT would be painful."

Also, I really like the new ones for returning veterans. He is walking around and everything is empty and quiet, and there's no one around. He's all alone. Then the other guy shakes his hand and says, 'welcome home." Suddenly the streets are filled with people. The concept is, you don't have to be alone. Very well done. It also caught my friend's eye when the sound was muted - which is a characteristic of something well done - it tells the story just with the visuals, and catches your eye even when you are doing something else.

Another cool one was the Allstate commercial, where they did the stop-action with the tire blowout or whatever it was. He walks around while the picture stays frozen.

Car commercials have some really slick techniques also.

Do you guys drive your friends crazy like I do? Always watching techniques or critiquing production, or thinking in commercials =) while your friends are just trying to watch TV? My friends are like, shut up and watch the program!
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 10:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
Do you guys drive your friends crazy like I do? Always watching techniques or critiquing production, or thinking in commercials =) while your friends are just trying to watch TV? My friends are like, shut up and watch the program!
I totally drive my friends crazy, and not just in commercials. I was watching a movie last night and blurted out, "That was an amazing Steadicam shot." Everyone shhed me and had no idea what I was talking about.

Even when watching movies I don't like, at least now I can examine the production values and try to figure out the techniques used.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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I'm always pointing out when the levels are crushed, and critiquing the news graphics. And when I see a cheesy low budget commercial and the graphics are bad? Oh boy, look out.
It's very frustrating for the other person watching the TV.
=)

ps hey i hear you have a folk festival down in Kerrville!
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 06:20 PM   #6
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Does anyone remember that Burger King commercial with the guys chasing the hamburger on a stick? That was great.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #7
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The thing I always end up criticizing is the plot!

Hence I avoid TV like the plague (except for those excellent DVD box sets of stuff like The Sopranos or Rome),

hence I don't ever get to see any ads (though I've crewed on many),

hence I've got absolutely nothing to say here...




(though I did like that Ariston ad about 10 years ago which ripped off Rybczinski (who?)
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Old December 28th, 2008, 03:32 PM   #8
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I voice over a thousand radio and TV commercials each year, as well as edit hundreds of TV commercials each year.
So I guess you could say I have a little experience in the world of commercials.
One thing that I have learned over the years, is that just because someone likes a commercial, does not mean that it is an effective commercial.
For example, the commercials you mentioned you liked...
"Dow Chemical" Do you use their products?
"Geico" Do you use their car insurance?
"Also, there's one for - I can't even remember what for, I think it's a restaurant, but there's little red and green pieces (chiles?) arranging themselves on the screen. Pretty cool."

Pretty Cool Yes! But Not very effective if you can't even remember who the advertiser is!

I was recently asked at a party what I did for a living.
Upon telling the folks who asked, then then asked if I had produced their favorite ad,
you know the one where the car dealer & his sons have out-takes for their commercial.
No I replied, someone else produced it. Oh too bad, that is our favorite commercial they replied. I then asked if they had ever bought a car from that dealer. mmm no they replied.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #9
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I then asked if they had ever bought a car from that dealer. mmm no they replied.
Which is funny and sad all at the same time.

I did a series of low budget PSA's for a local Service Club highlighting the organizations they support through their fundraising efforts. We're talking "as low as I'm willing to work for friends and a good cause" type stuff. Well, one of the organizations was looking to increase the number of adult participants in their program which pairs adults with youth (you'd know who it is if I said anymore). This "little" PSA achieved their goal within months! A 70% increase in volunteers just because of a 30 second PSA with preferential treatment on 2 TV stations in my market. I was FAR prouder of the achievement than I was of the PSA.
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