Advertising works best when its simple…or at least it used to!

The idea of an iconic viral Levis ad is as old as the hills and their latest was released recently (see below). the ad was no doubt seeded as it should be by their agency it has gone straight into the viral charts. Its not a ground-breaking creative idea and seems a little low tempo for me but its bloody simple. The jeans were made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do right across one side of the Levis ‘American heartland’ to the other.

Levis has always had the opportunity to create a viral campaign because its such a great, iconic and sexy brand. It forms part of an elite of advertisers that could have nailed shit to the walls and we would have lapped it up and it would have become ‘cool’. However, it is now possible to bypass the coolness of a brand. Rather than an indication of brand credo, the popularity of ‘virals’ and the viral charts (as good an indication of good advertising as any, that’s another story) seem more than ever to be an indication of not only; the quality (share-ability/slick/funniness) of a TV ad but also the ability of a media agency to seed content (and hopefully spark a viral ‘effect’)

You used to be able to get away with achieving just the first, and the spots secured in semi-appropriate schedules would do the rest but the spread is now of paramount importance. It’s a measure of the rise of the importance of media (and media agencies!) and in particular social media that the second is what differentiates campaigns today.

Taking the Old Spice ads as an example (who hasn’t!) you can see that the creative was great and ‘did the job’ in the first advert but the campaign really came to life with the seeding boost that was achieved by ‘creating’ advocates through personalised creative. Doubters would point to the recent Nike ‘Write the future’ ad and say “that’s just great creative” but in reality aside from a large amount of viral seeding they also undertook a huge social push including the first ever global engagement ad roadblock on Facebook.

So it would seem that ‘pure’ advertising has become infiltrated somehow by those who create the hits, the ‘pushers’ if you like, starting the fire and then pouring petrol over everyone standing around it.

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