Zippo “Be Ready”

If people associate your product with indoor venues — smoky bars, say — introducing a line of outdoor goods is tricky. But Zippo rises to the occasion in this spot (via agency Brunner) for the new Zippo Outdoor line, which includes the likes of fire starters and hand warmers. The outdoor vistas here are lovely as we follow a solitary hiker on his trek through a mountainous landscape. But there’s also a touch of menace to the sky, with dark clouds scudding across it — despite the moment of overheard radio broadcast at the very beginning of the spot in which an announcer declares it to be “another beautiful day.” This helps the spot hold our attention in a way that merely pretty scenery would not. And it provides a good buildup to the onscreen tagline, “Be ready.” Of course, men (the principal target audience) who like to buy gadgets are happy to be told it’s a matter of prudent forethought if they do so. The narrative arc of the spot — from “beautiful day” to a sudden snow squall at the end — makes you feel it would be sensible to buy every Zippo product in creation before venturing out into the wilderness. –Mark Dolliver