I can’t let this go. Not yet.
But this flaw in ad writing has caught my attention. Last week I wrote about the lack of correlation between an ad’s message and the client’s product or service.
So the next day I saw another TV ad, this one from Subaru. You see a couple cruising down a road and the girl in the passenger seat is daydreaming watching a train. She’s picturing herself and her traveling companion in the boxcar, making their way to wherever like free spirits.
The driver brings her back to reality, and then the voiceover tells you to “find your own adventures in your Subaru.” Then of course: “Love—it’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.” Not the best tagline in advertising.
The thing is, it’s not quite a disconnect. But it’s close, and the way I see it, the ad is an example of a lot of ads these days that is so soft sell, the client of the ad—the one buying the TV ad space—is interchangeable. This could be an ad for almost any one of several automobile advertisers. Pick one.
The fact that the copywriters stuck the Subaru at the end of the daydream does not make the Subaru brand the answer to the impression one may get that the girl almost wishes she were on that boxcar instead. And if I were Subaru’s account executive, I wouldn’t be impressed with that.
The purpose of advertising is to promote products/services, not circumstances. You can make a connection between a situation and a product/service to change that situation for the better, to have you the consumer be in a better place because of the product/service. What otherwise comes across, as in this commercial, is that this copywriter is daydreaming about becoming a screenwriter.
The gap in all these ads is causing a disconnect in the mind of the viewer, nonetheless. Because the viewer will remember the circumstance (daydreaming/boxcar) and almost assuredly completely forget the Subaru. And that’s a waste of money by Subaru.
In contrast, we have a Chase Bank ad in which a gymnast of sorts (Isaac Hou) displaying his routine of whirling around a large room on a steel hoop. And in the middle of the ad, he demonstrates a new routine of using Chase’s Quick Deposit by taking a picture of a check with his cell phone, thereby using a service of Chase.
There’s no disconnect. And no daydreaming copywriters.