It really is this easy


I have been re-reading the Clive Challis book about Helmut Krone – Bernbach’s legendary art director. It reminded me how much better it was in reality than in my head. I encourage you to look beyond the cliche of ‘we try harder’ and engage again with the strategy and more importantly the execution of this campaign. This is advertising at it’s most effortless, most engaging and most persuasive. And look no logo – the best branded campaign in advertising history had no logos in it big or small.
Advertising really can be this easy if we stop getting bogged down in irrelevant strategic discussion, stop navel gazing, stop living in fear of the future and get back to the basics of creative persuasion.
See you on the barricades


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5 Replies to “It really is this easy”

  1. I remember more contemporary Avis tv spots and recently read Positioning which discusses this campaign.
    Thanks for showing these early versions, they really do have a certain elegant simplicity that cuts through the nonsense. To some degree, they could also be considered examples of talking to humans in a human voice, much as some online marketers emphasize.
    I look forward to checking out the book you mention, as well.
    Thanks again.

  2. Good call. I’m all for cutting through the guff that seeks to create ‘brand’in consumers lives rather than let it flow more naturally out of communications like this. But are you saying that there’s no place [or a reduced role?] for brand ‘steroids’ like logos, straplines, the whole ‘aesthetic’? Could you eloborate..?

  3. No I’m not against brand steroids. It is merely an observation that branding is about the whole body language of the communications not about the steroids, and (as John Grant would say) more about the coherence of communications than their consistency.

  4. Well, there are different ways of approaching clients and consumers. The best way (if you have a brand that can really back up what they say) is to treat the viewers as smart human beings and be totaly honest, which was the case with Avis. Remember, it’s 80 percent feeling and 20 percent reason. The avis campaign combined the two perfectly. But how does a gas company do this? They probably charge you too much as always. How can you be honest about that?

  5. Actually, there is a logo in the ad. Not for Avis. And, if you consider the state of things in the States when the ad was released, then one can appreciate just how provactive this ad truly was (and is). I love it that you describe the execution as effortless. I believe that is the perfect word for so much of what those guys did.

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