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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Reinventing a best seller


How do you re-invent and improve an already good product? Saatchi & Saatchi LA have decided that a re-invented couch should be made up of toned and attractive females in bikinis, and should also be made available in a male version of topless buff men in shorts.

This ad however isn’t for the re-invented couch, or edible pizza curtains, or for plants that fight crime, but for the launch of an improved Toyota Camry. The creative touch of re-inventing the ordinary almost ‘un-re-inventible’ is quite funny, but I didn’t find that Toyota, or Saatchi and Saatchi on Toyota’s behalf, communicated the crux of their campaign… the improved features of the Camry in this particular ad.

But do the details of the sedan’s ‘re-invention’ really matter in this ad? I don’t think so. This ad is all about gaining attention and having people remember the ad rather than the car. Remembering the car and linking it back to the ad comes later in the campaign. This strategy is often used in advertising, where making a lasting impression in 60 seconds or less is challenging with so many ads bombarding our daily lives.

So what makes an ad successful? When evaluating ads in the Integrated Communications unit of the Master of Marketing Program, we used the acronym ‘S.C.O.R.E.’ to critique the ads.

S.C.O.R.E.: S = Simple, C= Creative, O=Original, R= Relevant, E= Effective.

Successful ads would rate high in every one of the criteria.

For this Toyota Camry ad, the ‘re-invention’ concept is Simple, and focuses on improving an already solid product. Making an analogy to a reinvented couch, curtain, and crime-fighting household potted plants is highly Creative. I would give this ad two thumbs up for Originality, how refreshing is it to see a car commercial without seeing the car wind along a quiet country road with a picturesque backdrop. Was this ad Relevant? No, in my opinion, but the fact that the ad isn’t relevant to the car’s improvements makes it Effective because the ad makes the car indirectly memorable.

What ads have you found to be so creative that they become highly memorable?

Mina D'Souza
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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