Can’t We All Just Sing-A-Long?

You want to know what’s good? An art director who can write is good. Bill Green of Make the logo bigger is such a creature. Here’s his take on a Coors Light radio spot that made him want to punch the radio:

Really trying hard here not to be an asshole, but if anyone can explain to me how the latest Coors spot deserves to be on the radio, I’ll have George Parker send you $50. Damn if I can find it to give you a link though.
If you haven’t heard it, it’s a large group of friends, I’m guessing in a bar, (duh), singing, “Pass, pass, pass the cold Coors Light.” But it’s sung to the tune of what sounds like it wants to be “Take me out to the ballgame” on meth.

I have yet to hear the spot, but I look forward to it. I had good times writing and directing Coors radio. For instance, I once flew to Nashville to record a spot with Brooks & Dunn, the best-selling country music duo. They were pros in the booth and nice guys on top of it. That night I saw them perform live at the Ryman Auditorium. It was my first country show and while I thought I might not enjoy it, I walked away impressed.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’ll say it once. I’ll say it again.
    If you don’t have anything nice to say…
    Seriously, I think I’m done with the blogs. For now. David, I stand by you in your passion that such a medium will eventually evolve into a free and honest exchange of ideas between companies and consumers.
    But I have just grown sick as an ad pro watching mudslinging and poo-pooing on other people’s ideas that has about the same maturity as writing on public restroom walls. A great place to hide and spew some negative overtones.
    Why don’t you guys go spend your time creating something instead of ragging on someone else’s?

  2. What? You like the song/spot, Jay? Did you write it?
    “Ragging,” as you put it, to me is straight up criticism. And I think we might agree Jay, that this business needs to be criticized. From inside as we do here, and from the outside.

  3. Carl LaFong says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Jay. There are a lot of cheap shot artists out there who try to prop up their own fragile egos by tearing down the work of others. (I can think of at least three bloggers who fit this description.)
    Heck, I’ve been guilty of it myself at times. God knows there’s enough poisonous pettiness and negativity in this business. And to the extent that I have contributed to it, I apologize.
    But I part company with Jay when it comes to blogs like Adpulp, Adrants and Ernie Schneck’s. Despite the occasional heated debate or immature squabble (some of which, in the interest of full disclosure, have involved me), I find that they provide an invaluable forum for an open and honest exchange of ideas and opinions. There are a number of thoughtful, articulate posters on these sites who regularly provide food for thought.
    I, for one, welcome opposing points of view — especially if they run counter to either the perceived “wisdom” of the trade press or my very own opinions. They don’t just make me think — they make me rethink my positions on a variety of issues.
    But none of that would happen if everyone simply agreed with one another all the time. Constructive criticism backed by well-reasoned arguments — as opposed to malicious backbiting or namecalling — can be painful at times, but it is necessary if we hope to grow both personally and professionally. At its best, it shakes us out of our complacency by challenging long held assumptions or providing a fresh new perspective.
    I have always tried to think for myself rather than simply adhering to conventional wisdom. But I also try to keep my mind open enough to admit contrasting views and ideas.
    While I understand where you are coming from, Jay, I hate to see you go. I enjoyed your posts even when I didn’t fully agree with them — which, of course, is precisely the point.

  4. Clicked on Jay, Coors and Coors Light in his agency’s portfolio. Out-ch.
    I must admit, I’ve done a couple of random bizzare spots that didn’t work out as I’d hoped. If blogging had been popular back then, I would not have been surprised to find negative feedback there in the form of a rant. On one spot, I actually had a newspaper journalist describe one of my spots and “strange”. You live and you learn. Perhaps you learn a little better when someone points it out. It’s like going back to school.

  5. Jay and I worked together at Integer Denver, the agency with the Coors’ promotional account. We’ve both written several promotional radio spots for the brewer. Sometimes Integer also writes traditional spots in a head-to-head with FCB. I don’t know if Integer or FCB wrote the spot in question. Does it matter? Both agencies serve the client’s needs. Appealing to frat boys is serving the clients needs. Whether or not it’s in the brand’s best interest is another question entirely.

  6. theo kie says:

    Jay, I agree on the one hand – shallow, snarky criticism doesn’t provide much worth when it comes to discussions. On the other hand, to say all criticism is “foul” defeats the purpose of an open and free forum.
    I’ve made my share of comments, but they most often question how a piece does or doesn’t fit the positioning…whether agencies are showing growth or a lack thereof…and pointing out the ego-driven worst of our brethren (i.e. award show cheaters). Each of those topics is a fair subject for critiquing.
    Honestly, I’m way past thinking a commercial, print ad or web “thing” qualifies anyone claim they’re a genius or creative mind. Go write some fiction, paint or draw or sculpt, Do something that doesn’t depend on marketing types telling you how far you can color outside the lines.
    Anyway…I hope you don’t disappear entirely, Jay. For those who simply want to harp on work because they “don’t like it”, let’s hear some more astute, thought-provoking reasons.

  7. Hey David, thanks for the link, but sorry for the shitstorm.
    Collective response to most here:
    Jay, as for hiding, didn’t think I was since my name’s on my blog. It’s all good though.
    But if I ever said this to a CD: “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” I’m afraid I’d be fired.
    As an aside first though, if the blogosphere is here merely to allow brands a chance to talk to consumers using the old push model, I think they’ll miss the boat.
    Blogs have allowed consumers the chance to talk to brands on their own terms – when consumers are ready. The important thing for brands will be if they are listening to the people or not.
    As for Coors, I like to think I give as much constructive opinion on stuff like this as I do negative feedback, because I’ve gotten my fair share. At the end of the day though, it’s just my opinion and all are free to ignore.
    I try to go a little further in my crit than saying ‘I like’ or ‘I hate.’ (Last thing I’ve ever been accused of is not writing enough, as this monster entry proves, lol.)
    If I don’t like something, I say so. Work doesn’t get better if we all kiss each other‘s ass. I understand the creative process and all the hurdles that have to be jumped to get creative approved and produced, so I feel the agency’s pain. There were probably some cool ideas that never saw the light of day.
    At the end of the day, you still have to do work you’re proud of. While this work may be meant to appeal to fraternities, (what beer isn’t) you have to wonder if it harmed the agency’s rep or solidified what people already thought of it.
    To the point that serving the client’s needs are the only factor, I’d like to add one thing to that: serving them as best you can is as important too. If all you’ve done is to serve just the client’s needs, then have you really done your job? At great agencies, no. At mediocre ones, yes. Collect the retainer and send your kids to private schools then, be happy with your life.
    Back to the spot: I ask 10 people to listen to the spot and tell me it’s appealing, let alone good. The post I wrote also referenced another complaint from Slate about a major award show in which radio creative was viewed in a negative light. And what radio spot comes along to prove the point?
    The standard these days of a great beer spot is Real Men of Genius. Is this spot close? Nope. Not even in the same sport, let alone the same league. Specifically again? From a pure technical POV, it’s very hard to make out a lot of the singing, let alone the group trying to sound spontaneous. Message failed right there. That it annoyed part of the audience – me – means it failed again.
    There’s also a total disconnect between it and the TV with the train running through stadiums playing Motown hits. Beer using old songs is nothing new, but after hearing the singing in the radio, I now look at the use of Love Train in the TV as groundbreaking.
    This biz is based on opinions and constantly trying to improve the work, not just producing stuff you know the client will approve. Those opinions are around us all day: the CD who reviews the work of the ADs below them. The client who approves the work presented to them – or doesn’t. The CDs who judge other CDs in award shows. The client who fires their agency because the quality of their SB spot sucked this year.
    We all rag on each other at one time or another. Anonymous namedrop here, but I talked to an award-winning CD tonight from a major NY agency who, while respecting the VW work his friend did, still hated the Fast campaign. ’Cuz if judging work harshly doesn’t count for anything, then nobody gets promoted or gets raises and mediocre work rules. Ever have a CD say ‘this line is pure shit, go write 50 more’ or ‘that idea is awesome!’? Happens all the time. It’s feedback, good and bad, and it’s part of what we do.
    Because if not, then anyone here who’s a creative should go work in Kinko’s. I hear they have good benefits.