Tag Archives: Goodby

Branding and the Future of Advertising (a new rule)

See this wonderful ad from Haagen-Dazs and Goodby, Silverstein:

It suggests two things, I think, about branding and the future of advertising.

1. That we are now prepared to give the viewer a little credit.

Note that the brand and the agency are prepared to go with a foreign language.
And you can imagine how difficult this conversation would have been just 10 years ago. To trust anything to subtitles! To slow the ad! To turn the viewer into a reader! Unthinkable! Quite enough to make you want to throw a piece of crockery! AND POSSIBLY START YELLING AT SOMEONE!

There may once have been a time when the ad world treated the consumer is a dolt, a moron, an idiot but those days have passed. Or in the Cluetrain era, they are passing. 

2. That we should be able to give the viewer more and more credit.

Some day, the brand and the agency will be brave enough to go without subtitles.
Have another look at the ad and put a post-it over the subtitles. The emotional power of the scene is undiminished. Indeed, it’s more powerful because we don’t have to take our eyes off these beautiful people, this splendid acting, and this moment of delicious outrage.

I will grant you this much.  Without subtitles, we would miss two really wonderful lines from the actress: 1. “Isn’t it your turn to apologize to me?” and 2. “You shouldn’t yell at me!” (This from someone who is prepared to turn “honey, I’m home” into World War III.)

Subtitles give the viewer quite a lot of work to do. Giving them no subtitles would give them still more work to do. With no subtitles, we can I think guarantee 5 or 6 viewings.

Plus, I think we could assume that many people would take to the internet to look for a translation. And assuming they end up at a Haagen Dazs website, we have another brandable moment and our ad will have gone transmedia, a very good thing.   Everyone is now a googling machine.

The two assertions come back together again in what is perhaps a new rule for the ad world.

The more credit and work we give the viewer, the more engagement, meaning and value they will give the brand.

Tip of the hat to the people responsible for this splendid work:

Ad Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Client Häagen-Dazs
Brand Manager at Haagen-Dazs: Cady Behles

Creative Department
Co-Chairman / Partner: Rich Silverstein
Associate Creative Director/ Copywriter: Will Elliott
Senior Art Director: Patrick Knowlton

Production Department
Director of Broadcast Production/Associate Partner: Cindy Fluitt
Broadcast Producer: Melissa Nagy

Account Services Department
Group Account Director: Leslie Barrett
Account Director: Erin Fromherz
Account Manager: Kristen Baker
Assistant Account Manager: Lacy Borko

Brand and Communication Strategy
Group Brand Strategy Director: Kelly Evans-Pfeifer
Senior Brand Strategist: Molly Cabe

Business Affairs
Business Affairs Manager: Mary Marhula

Outside Vendors
Production Company: H.S.I. / Person Films
Director: Michael Haussman
Director of Photography: Paolo Caimi
Executive Producers: Cecile Leroy, Michael McQuhae
Line Producer: Gianluca Leurini
Editing House: Union Editorial
Editor: Marco Perez
Assistant Editors: Nellie Phillips, Francesca Vassallo, Jedidiah Stuber
President / Executive Producer: Michael Raimondi
Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean
Producer: Sara Mills

A marketing miracle

Gareth Kay, head planner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, was asked to do something for the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.  There wasn’t much money. And museums are notoriously difficult to making meanings for.  (They believe themselves immaculately formed.)

But Kay and his team put to work and eventually they created what I think is a perfectly brilliant strategy.  Here’s how Gareth describes it.  

[We] landed on the idea of helping people release their inner Salvador through a photo App that could create surrealist overlays, a modern day ode to the brilliance that is Dali. We decided to partner with someone to give us critical mass of users and distribution, so we reached out to Hipstamatic. They liked the idea so much that they have worked with us to create a lens and film pak for the app (the Dali Museum Goodpak), waved their fee and pledged to donate any income from sales of the pack (it costs 99c) to the museum. [W]e’ll also be projecting images taken with the pak on to the museum’s new building on it’s opening night.

Oh, how entirely interesting.  In London last week, I stole a moment to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and especially the Tudor rooms…and came out knowing less about Early Modern England than I did going in.  The V&A appeared determined to put as much glass and exhibition tech between the visitor and the objects as possible, and to withhold most of the ideas and emotions that would have made these objects live.  In an age when almost every other institution is disintermediating at a ferocious pace, it was especially tragic.  

How wonderful then to see Kay at work.  His Hipstamatic strategy is all about the take-away, about making the Dali sensibility available to the world.  Cheap and cheerful, unassuming but in its way quite engaging, the Dali pak makes the museum portable.  Dali, I think, would have been amused, and the Museum, well, who knows how museums think, but it’s hard to imagine the Dali Museum isn’t thrilled.  I took the photo above from a speeding car in New York City yesterday.  Thus, thanks to Kay and company, did the museum come to live in the life of someone thousands of miles away.

We’ve got several of the new orthodoxies of marketing at work here.  The Hipstamatic strategy gives us participation, cocreation, and transformation, all in all a wonderful little culturematic.  It gives us the opportunity to install and then experiment with the sensibility for which the museum stands.  Kay makes something that makes meanings for the visitor and in the process the museum.  This is a fine order of meaning manufacture.  

Hats off to Kay, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and Hipstamatic.  


Kay, Gareth.  2010.  Released Your Inner Dali.  Brand New.  November 5.  here.