Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Lizard Love Story - sad or funny?

Ian MacDonald at JWT pointed me towards yet another "sad-vertisement" from Asia, as covered by FishnChimps. It's a lizard love story from Publicis, Thailand, and it's dripping with tragedy. FishnChimps describes it as "perverse and unusual with a twist of evil" but equally "fantastic" and "with some comically bad acting thrown in as a bonus".

I like the ad, but I'm a bit of a purist. And I wonder if the comic rendering of this sad tale makes the ad all the less brave and less impactful. Personally, I think it's a million miles away from being perverse (although it is a damn sight braver than anything I've seen in the UK recently).

What do you think? Is this sad-vertising? Could it be done without the comedy? Do we only feel a cartoon empathy for the lizards? Or is it the real deal?


Liam said...

Nice ad, though it hardly gave me goosebumps. At the end of the day it's another "funny" ad, and I just wonder how much affinity humour builds these days?

Ian M said...

What struck me was how my response changed the more I watched the ad (chameleon advertising?).
My first view was similar - funny ad (with a bit of shock value).
However the more I watched it the sadder I felt and the less humourous. How can you not look at that loving look from gecko to gecko and not feel sad at the tragedy of the lovers sacrifice?
Are there other ads where the response changes the more you watch?

Ian M said...

David - I just realised - there are different versions of the ad - the one FishnChimps linked to is *much* more emotional....(directors cut?) link

David Bonney said...

This is really intereasting Ian. Whenever considering emotion in advertising, it's always tempting to think of executions in isolation. But there's value in thinking of how emotional responses can develop over multiple viewings / a series of ads. I had a bit of a rant before about the possibility of preserving emotional resolutions until third / forth iteration of a campaign (think Goldblend or more recently Smirnoff).

But what about ads so rich and convoluted that repeat viewings of the same campaign lead to emotional turn-around or added depths? I'm sure like to irritation (think Frosties "They're gonna taste great") or disgust to interest (hmmmm, stumped) are quite common.

But a surface layer of humour that gives way to reveal deeper, more poignant emotions... now that's interesting... perhaps Stella Artois does this (can't help but think of my relationship with my own mother or father... think shoes & deathbed)?

Yes, the "*much*" more emotional execution you speak of has the "Love Story" music... maybe by stimulating all those rich associations witht the film that execution becomes all the more emotive?

David Bonney said...

And Liam... I know, I know. The value of humour must surely diminish due to it's mere abundance. I've just returned from some focus groups where the punters kept saying... "why do all the ads have to be funny", they even went on to say themselves that they reckon humour doesn't work anymore. Now it's best not to take everything consumers take to heart... but in this case I think they're right... advertising is addicted to humour, to it's own detriment, and yet creatives and client alike choose to ignore this and take the safe, well-trodden path of "funny". I suppose a laugh can be spotted by the most emotionally unintelligent individual... problem is, the size of the overt response may tell us nothing about the size or depth of the true affective response within.

Wily said...

My "Sadvertising" is funnier than yours. But yours is much more credible.

It's a draw.

Anyway, cheers!

vfdvgf said...
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