I like the show Mad Men. Really, I do. I think I actually started watching it late 2012, when there were reruns on FX (I don’t have AMC here). I was on break, it was on the telly and it was episode ONE. Of course I watched it. Jon Hamm is fantastic as the guy you love to hate, with an amazing supporting cast. My favourite aspect about that show is the realism of the struggle women faced during that period in time, Don’s relationship with his daughter and Peggy, and of course, THE COMMERCIALS.
I didn’t particularly like commercials when I was younger because, let’s face it, Malaysian commercials are the worst. Sure, Petronas comes out with really good ones during any festive season but apart from that, there aren’t any good commercials. The internet however, has provided me with a new perspective on that.
Mad Men is about an advertising company, much like the one Darren worked at in Bewitched. You get to watch the process from an idea, to refining it, to the storyboards, to the artwork. I love it. I remember how Season 8 of Mad Men started, with a guy pitching his idea for a watch commercial to Peggy; all he does is describe it, there are no props.. and you are instantly captured. I like to make commercials up in my head sometimes, I like to think I’m good at it. My brother has heard a lot of my ideas for different brands, it’s bordering on annoying. (That’s the problem with Mad Men, though. You instantly think you ‘know the biz’).
I know, it’s probably ridiculous: why does anyone like commercials? Why do the Superbowl commercials matter then? There is something about being able to sell a product or a lifestyle or an idea to people within a short period of time that is almost like magic. When you watch a commercial, it’s main purpose is to entice you. You are suppose to WANT to be that person, or WANT to use that product, or WANT to live that lifestyle. The commercial can tug at your heartstrings, make you swoon or even make you laugh. It’s a small movie that’s meant to capture your attention and stick with you.
Most importantly, it’s suppose to be effective. Why else would people advertise? There is such a careful selection of the right actors, the right music, the right script. I admire people who work in advertising because it takes so much imagination to work for something that’s going to have relatively short airtime. They’re both business people and artists at the same time.
For the fun of it, here are a few of my favourite commercials that I have seen:
The FAMOUS Jaguar ‘Villains’ commercial
The Discovery Channel ‘I love the whole world’ advert
Shut up i’m not crying ‘Budweiser Clydesdales ‘ commercial from the Superbowl in 2013
The ‘Old Spice’ guy has to be here
The Thai Anti-Smoking Ad
The IKEA Book Book advert
Microsoft’s 2014 Superbowl ad
The Skype Ad
Do you have any favourite commercials? link to them in the comments or Tweet me. 🙂