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Zebco

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People in the target audience for Zebco fishing gear want to spend more time with fish. If they're parents, they also want to spend more time with their kids -- or, at least, believe they ought to do so while they have the chance. Created by Minneapolis agency Gabriel deGrood Bendt, this spot positions fishing as a natural venue for parent/child bonding. With no voiceover chattering away as the screen displays a series of snapshots (including some with mothers rather than fathers as the parental fisher), viewers are able to focus on these sweet images of family togetherness. The photos somehow feel more authentic than a live-action scene of parent and child and fish would manage to do. There's also something to be said for this approach of looking back on an event that's already happened. Given the patience that fishing typically requires (and that children typically lack), a parent/child fishing expedition may be better in retrospect than it is while actually taking place. Whether or not you relish a fishing jaunt today with Junior, you'll enjoy looking back on it at some indeterminate point in the future. The spot closes with a handwritten onscreen super that says, "Don't let your kid be the one that got away." I'm not sure it was a good idea to make this point so bluntly. If nothing else, the imperative-voiced warning seems vaguely presumptuous. (Why is some fishing-gear company telling me how to raise my kids?) The photos have made the point, in a warm and gentle way, that these times fishing together create a lasting bond. The text could have used a lighter touch in making that moral explicit.--Mark Dolliver