Sometimes great advertising isn’t about being big and flashy, or announcing the arrival of the next big thing in a big booming voice. Sometimes it’s about refreshing our relationship with a product that’s always been there in front of us. And when the timing is right, that exercise of having an established brand stand up and say “My name is ____ and I am ____” can lead to wonderful new successes. Of course, once in a blue moon, that means having two guys stand out in the middle of a bog.
Rather than the setup line for a joke, it’s a reference to Ocean Spray’s wildly successful “Straight from the Bog” advertising campaign. Arnold Worldwide created this campaign for Ocean Spray in 2006 and its still going strong today. Here’s why I love this campaign so much:
In an age of over-the-top special effects and crazy, jump-cut montages, these ads focus on two guys, standing in a fixed location with a very stable background. There’s no sense of A.D.D., and it’s easy to take in the entire scene and the entire message. Each spot is focused on one feature, benefit or topic and doesn’t try to cram in 20 different messages.
Unlike some of today’s cryptic fragrance or jeans commercials (the ones where you’re wondering “what the heck are they selling” up until the final moment), our two friends here are literally standing in the product up to their thighs. It surrounds them with that recognizable cranberry-red color, providing both a reinforcement of what they are selling and a clean background that helps the characters, props and product samples stand out. There’s also something great about being able to connect a product to a source that appears so clean and natural.
3. The classic pair of characters
Some things never go out of style. You can go all the way back to the days of Vaudeville and find the pairing of the joker/fool and the straight man. So here we are, with Henry, the wizened, experienced grower who delivers his lines perfectly (with the intentional cadence of someone reading them off of a set of cards), and Justin, the young pup with good intentions who happens to be a bit of a klutz. They’re likable, they feel authentic, and they play off each other so well.
4. They work
Plain and simple, these ads get results. At launch, the initial ads placed in the top ten percent of all ads ever tested by Milward Brown. In its first year, Ocean Spray gained 6% year-over-year growth in its juice drinks. Between 2007 and 2008, Ocean Spray picked up a gain of 14%, even as its overall category declined by 5%.
Here’s a taste of the spots:
Unofficial Official Fruit of the Holidays