Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meta Ad

While this was the lead story in April 3rds AAF SmartBrief, I want to weigh in with my thoughts all the same - and who knows, maybe you missed it. An article on (quoted below) discussed the unique meta ad approach of a new advertising campaign by Health Choice. I really like the idea they went with for the campaign; a behind the scenes look at the conversation between the spokesperso, Ms. Louis-Dreyfus, and her agent as they discuss the potential ad deal. It's not that new of an idea, and it feels a lot like The Office, but it's something that people really like right now.

Further, I think the whole meta ad idea ties into the conversation about problems in the industry concerning how people relate to and trust the messages they see in ads. As Luke Sullivan points out in the intro of "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This," people used to trust advertising, but it's no secrete that they don't anymore, in fact lots of people claim to despise it. And, these days Gallup polls regularly show advertising practitioners on par with car salesmen and members of Congress when it comes to least-trusted professions.

The point here is that any agency and client wants people to watch and believe their ads. But how can that be effectivly accomplished when, for some or many people, the credibility of message is already significantly hurt by the medium before we even see the first second of the ad? That's a pretty tough handycap to start with.

I suppose the truth of the matter is that it's not all that bad, not everyone thinks ads are lying and those that do still take in the message, even if with a grain of salt. But still credibility is an important issue all the same. We want ads to be trustworthy. It's something that most ads struggle with, and while I'm not sure if this Health Choice campaign will overcome it, I think it's a pretty good way to try.

'The premise of the commercials, which are directed by Christopher Guest (director of Spinal tap), is that Ms. Louis-Dreyfus is not really sure whether she wants to endorse Healthy Choice.

“It’s a ‘meta’ thing,” said Kathy Delaney, president and chief creative officer at Nitro, “advertising imitating life imitating advertising.”

The device enables the spots to convey information about Healthy Choice in a way that “never feel forced,” Ms. Delaney said, as Ms. Louis-Dreyfus and other characters discuss the reinvention,' ( via AAF SmartBrief).


Derek said...

I wonder if most people distrust advertising because they are aware of how much psychology is used to deliver a product. Once they realize that ads are tailored to the nth degree to convince people to do something, generally spending money, people become afraid that advertisers know more about the workings of their brains than they themselves do.

I personally like seeing how ads are made, because once you know the "tricks" of the industry you become more capable of making a well reasoned decision about the product/business/cause that they are pushing.