Despite the long history and rather excessive amount of advertising on television, it's still pretty amazing that there is such a wide range of quality (anywhere from, "So bad it burned my retinas" to, "Can't wait for the movie version"). Recently, the TV commercial that really got our attention was the underwear ad for the Duluth Trading Company. This company produces apparel in the not particularly inspiring work wear retail space. Notwithstanding that, Duluth's ad agency of record, Planet Propaganda, put together a terrifically clever and dry-witted cartoon ad campaign that humorously but effectively communicates the virtues of Duluth Trading's clothing lines. Everything from the hilarious animation to the voice narration is nothing short of brilliant.
An example of an ad that doesn't exactly convey its intended message is the one promoting the value of the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation. Unsuspecting individuals seeking financial advice sit in a fancy corporate boardroom with what appears to be a qualified financial planner only to be told at the end of the ad that he is in fact a DJ and has no financial planning qualifications at all. What's the problem with that? It's those very unsuspecting financial advice seekers. They couldn't distinguish a DJ from a CFP (can anyone?) and we really don't have any indication that the DJ would provide financial advice any better or worse than that from a CFP because the ad provides no reasons why a CFP is any better than a DJ (you'd think that a bunch of numbers egg-heads would be able to throw out a few statistics).
The Duluth Trading Company commercials work because they take a rather uninteresting product, focus intently on what makes their product great, and then presents that in a way that actually gets you to take notice and chuckle at the same time. They've forged a connection between me and their brand. I'd buy their underwear and probably their beaver-proof pants too.