Glidden “Giveaway”

The bad news: Well, we know the bad news (about the economy, anyway). The good news: At least we get a free quart of paint. That’s the stimulus program Glidden has developed to brighten the national mood, plus a bunch of walls. This spot, via DDB New York, gives the brand’s paint giveaway an energetic introduction as we see people trudging happily along (or, in one case, dog-sledding happily along) with cans of Glidden. The voiceover makes an indirect reference to the current hard times when it opens by saying, “Painting can be a great way of brightening our lives.” And it adds a faintly populist flourish by adding, “So why shouldn’t it be for everybody?” Sensibly, the spot doesn’t dwell on the reasons “everybody” might need a bit of “brightening” these days. Instead, the allusion serves as a kind of primer coat to prepare the way for the otherwise straightforward explanation of how the program works. (You go to a Web site to pick the color you want, Glidden sends you the quart of paint “to help get you started,” and “Then you get out there and start rolling.”) The visuals are a mixed bag, with some (like people crossing a beach) looking rather generic. But the image of a stylish woman waving a paintbrush to hail a cab is a nice touch, as is the quartet of paint-can-toting nuns. –Mark Dolliver