Forbes Declares Ad Superlatives, And Commenters Beg To Differ

Among the many year-end “Best Of” lists comes The Year’s Most Creative Advertising Ideas on
Note the terminology here — not the most creative ads, but ideas. So there’s a mix of interesting things here, from Old Spice’s TV ad to Kellogg & Nestle’s Pop Up Stores to The Puma Social Campaign to Alicia Keys “Digital Life Sacrifice” (where celebrities went “dead” on social media to raise money for AIDS awareness).
What’s more interesting are the comments taking some of the choices to task. It provides insight into how some (at least a few) people view the effectiveness & originality of some of the ideas. Here’s are samples from 3 commenters:

  • This is some sloppy journalism — Old Spice Body Wash sales growth widely attributed to increase in couponing, not Mustafa’s advertising.
  • The so called creativity of Andes is neither new nor creative. Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk bar in Ft. Worth has a phone booth you can enter and when calling your loved one to say “where” you are has a selection of sounds like ambulances, rain etc… this has been around for over 20 years. Grabbing old ideas and peddling them as new is neither new nor creative.
  • smart USA’s sales are down 61% year-to-date. They sold a pathetic 211 cars in November – which means each US dealer didn’t even sell one new car per week.
    Why should we celebrate an ad campaign when it does not actually sell the product it is advertising?

Aside from the fact that everyone’s a critic, it’s becoming clear that measuring effectiveness is becoming murkier that ever. A “creative idea” these days has far more reach than the money spent to develop and promote it. And because of the pass-along newsworthiness of these ideas, any correlation to sales will be harder to measure, particularly long-term sales impact.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.