If you live in New York City, then you’ve probably seen the new Dentyne ads that ask you to make room for some face time. The New York Times covers the ad campaign from McCann Erickson in detail today. The ad is supposedly targeting those under 20 with an accompanying website and broadcast rolling out nationally this week.
This folks, is where McCann per usual, totally stops thinking. Oh, McCann. With so many talented people in the building how can you continually create mediocre work? Oh. That’s right. The higher-ups constantly water down sharp creative. First of all, if you’re asking people to get off line then what’s with the website?
“There was a real paradox in that we want to have an online presence, but wait a second, we’re telling people not to be online,” said Craig Markus, EVP and ECD. “That’s where we came up with the idea of the three-minute Web site.”
Erm… what? If you have a paradox then um, that’s not good. As Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland said, you’ve got “a false dichotomy” going there.
Craig. Think critically for a second – either you champion the real world experience or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways. You’re messing with the impact of your message. The print ads are well done, beautiful, well art directed. In fact, the article says consumers have had a good response and so do we. However, we’re not twenty. Our blood is not made up of gigabytes. This ad may be better for 30-somethings. Just a note.
The larger point is, lovely McCann, why didn’t you just go all real world? Do nothing online. Perhaps you create flash mobs of hugging via snail mail. Perhaps you hold spontaneous concerts on college campuses or bike rides though small university towns at midnight. How about a real world choose your own adventure game? Look, we know it would have been twice as difficult to think up creative ways to get people together in the real, because you know, you would have to go outside the McCann box – one part print, one part digital and then, two parts broadcast – which, is predictable as hell. Anyone remember their Applebee’s campaign? Anyone recall their Nikon work?
By messing with the strong, emotional connection of the print ads by adding in online and ignoring real world opportunities, the agency has mucked about with what could have been their strongest campaign in years. McCann… we beg you. Set those agile and enterprising creatives free. Let them off the leash. Please.