Qwest “Crib”

A free service that backs up your computer files online? Sounds like a good idea. But lots of things are good ideas, and consumers don’t necessarily rouse themselves to act on them. So, this spot for Qwest (via DraftFCB) is smart to give an emotional edge to the proposition. Using the theme line “Don’t trust your computer,” it aligns the brand with a sentiment that’s already out there. The spot further engages our interest by building its vignette around a sympathetic victim – a pre-teen kid who has been called on to reenact scenes from his infancy so his parents can recreate his baby pictures. The real baby pictures were irretrievably lost when the computer on which they were stored was dropped into a fish tank by Dad. Under the circumstances, a more accurate slogan would be “Don’t trust your father,” but that might introduce a little too much emotional content into the spot and distract attention from Qwest’s sales pitch. As it is, viewers will readily grasp that Qwest is offering not a pointless bell and/or whistle but a service they’d find genuinely useful. Meanwhile, since we cannot be rescued from many of our disastrous errors, it’s good to know that a phone company can protect us from one category of modern mishap. That why the spot, for all its humor, works as a real call to action. -Mark Dolliver 

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