To Err Is Human…

Bob Garfield, writing for Advertising Age, rips Goodby, Silverstein & Partners a new one. Why? Because they made a mediocre TV spot for Saturn.

To see the introduction of Saturn’s Aura midsize sedan from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, is to wonder where Goodby and Silverstein were when this thing was being produced. On vacation? Hospitalized? Guantanamo?
There hardly seems to be another explanation, other than maybe absolute surrender to the client’s worst instincts, to shed light on why an agency of this caliber would have produced a generic TV commercial.
Look! A crash-test bulkhead! Look! A rugged fashion model squinting with driving intensity! Look! The California sunrise glinting into the lens! No surprise, of course, that a General Motors product introduction would embrace every single cliche of the auto-ad genre. This, in addition to losing money and shutting down factories, is what GM does. It’s just amazing that Goodby went along for the ride. It’s as if the creative team had been possessed by the spirit of Benton & Bowles.


About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.