In New Ads, Benjamin Moore Wonders If It’s Selling Paint or Something Else Entirely

Can it bring color to a drab category?

Last year, The Martin Agency positioned Benjamin Moore with the line "Paint Like No Other," laying it on thick in ads starring a pair of ventriloquist's dummies.

Now, with those creepy puppets gone, client and agency return with a different approach, posing the question "Is It Still Paint?" in the anthem spot below:

So, we saw colorful paint cans stacked like a cityscape, a Close Encounters-type UFO, a game-show sendup, shocked folks at a 3-D flick and a weightlifter.

And then there's the narration: "What if there was a paint that made you look at paint differently—question everything you know, and what you don't know? What if it's built with better ingredients? Given superpowers? And even a secret base to test those powers? … It makes you wonder: Is it still paint?"

Broad strokes, wouldn't you say? A second ad follows the same formula, focusing on the paint's asthma and allergy friendly properties:

There's nothing to sneeze at in either spot, visually. Pulse Films directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace (aka thirtytwo) apply a nice even coat of flowing images throughout.

Of course, the product in question is still just paint, and it remains a tough mission to try to challenge that perception and turn it on its head. For many of us, paint will always be a commodity. When shopping for magenta (because we have no taste whatsoever), we seek out the hue, not the brand.

Does making advertising that stands out means the paint will, too? We're skeptical, but if you disagree with our conclusions, feel free to brush them aside. 

Client: Benjamin Moore
Chief Executive Officer: Mike Searles
Vice President, Marketing: Jim Ricci
Brand Management Director: Chris Connelly
Senior Media Manager: Deb DeHamilton
Senior Brand Manager: Harriette Martins

Agency: The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Creative Director: Vanessa Fortier
Creative Director, Copywriter: Dave Gibson
Associate Creative Directors, Art Directors: Mauricio Mazzariol, Justin Harris
Executive Producer: Christina Cairo
Senior Broadcast Producer: Beata Mastalerz
Junior Broadcast Producer: Sara Montgomery
Group Account Director: Rich Weinstein
Account Director: Allison Oxenreiter
Account Executive: Hill Shore
Business Affairs Supervisors: Juanita McInteer, Alice Isner
Senior Project Manager: Courtney Faudree Hurd
Digital Designer: Lauren Erickson
Digital Executive Producer: Kim Zaninovich
Digital Producer: Betsy Wishart
Technical Director: Jeremy Misavage
Senior Developer: Alex McCallum
Senior Art Producer: Wylie Moran
Junior Print Producer: Jamie Dollins

Production Company: Pulse Films
Director: thirtytwo
Producer: Shirley O'Connor
Executive Producer: Hillary Rogers
President of Commercials: Kira Carstensen
Director of Photography: Reed Morano
Production Designer: Philip Ivey
Service Production: Batch Film
Line Producer: Iris Weber

Editorial Company: Final Cut
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Executive Producer NY: Sarah Roebuck
HOP New York Producer: Jen Sienkwicz
HOP Los Angeles: Suzy Ramirez
Cutting Assistant, New York: Geoff Hastings
Assistant, Los Angeles: BettyJo Moore

Visual Effects: The Mill
Producer: Dan Love
Shoot Supervisor: James Corden
Creative Director: Tony Robbins
2-D Lead Artist: Krissy Nordella
3-D Lead Artist: Greg Gangemi
2-D Artists: Tony Robbins, Blake Druery, John McIntosh, Mina Mir, Antoine Douadi
3-D Artists: Lauren Shields, Nick Couret-Chailloux, Sean Dooley, Xuan Seifert
Matte Painting: Cedric Mernard
Motion Graphics: Laura Nash

Telecine: The Mill
Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
Colorist: Fergus McCall

Original Music, Sound Design: Q Department

Audio Post Company: Significant Others
Engineer, Mixer: T. Terressa Tate
Audio, Finishing Producer: Alek Rost