Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chew on This

by Katrocket

It's not easy for an advertising agency to launch a new brand of chewing gum. The market is oversaturated with gimmicky, mouth-assaulting flavours and textures, and I suspect that the majority of people who enjoy chewing gum have already settled on a long term favourite from their youth, some of which may include very unfunny comics from the 1940s (I'm lookin' at YOU, Bazooka Joe).

Here's two new gum brands with two different approaches to advertising - physical comedy vs. special effects - with one clear winner.

I don't have any official marketing data on this, but I'm guessing the primary demographic for chewing gum is likely around ages 12-24, a powerful consumer group that demands high production values and edgy visuals, so it's not surprising that BBDO went apeshit with some crazy CG and elaborate sets for their "Stimulate Your Senses" campaign for Wrigley's "5" Gum:

Campaign: "Stimulate Your Senses" for Wrigley's 5 Gum
Fire That Agency!: Energy BBDO Chicago / AMV BBDO London

Spot 1: Flare (Cinnamon)

This could be my age talking, but when I chew gum, I'm not all that interested in having a Lara Croft experience. I just want some fresh breath, man - no need for extreme sports. I also like to know what flavour I'm about to chew, so please stop naming your product after drag queens.

Spot 2: Elixer (Mouthwatering Berry)

Another Tomb Raideresque adventure in gum chewing. This time, Lara's trapped in a bizarre purple Kool-Aid flood tube and apparently loving it. This ad always reminds me of that Simpson's episode where Rainer Wolfcastle is assaulted by a tidal wave of nuclear waste: "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!".

Spot 3: Lush (Crisp Tropical)

Can we all agree that getting bombed by sticky bits of citrus is not the most desirable or refreshing feeling ever? This commercial gives me the sudden urge to shower. I'd like to see the footage taken 2 minutes later when the giant bee swarm shows up for sloppy seconds.

Spot 4: Rain (Spearmint)

Okay, this is just plain ridiculous. If I wanted to lie down with metal balls and the world's biggest speakers, I'd be sleeping with Lemmy from Motorhead.

Spot 5: Cobalt (Peppermint)

I think someone at BBDO may have watched Running Man the night before this pitch. This ad might be slightly more enjoyable if the Hockey Death Squad was allowed to play along.

Campaign: "Spit It Out" for Cadbury Adams USA LLC's Stride Gum
Hire That Agency!: JWT New York

JWT takes the perceived weakness of the Stride brand (long-lasting flavour = reduced consumption of product) and literally knocks it on its ass with a stealth groin shot from an angry ram. It's unexpected, it's hilarious, it's a cheaper ad to produce, and it effectively communicates the brand's message without insulting our intelligence. Well played.


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Totally agree, Kat. I get how the 5 Gum ads are supposed to show people having all five of their senses stimulated (as the tagline says), but they really don't convey 'gum' to me.

The Stride commercial, on the other has everything: groin, that's it.

Back in England there's a soft drink called Tango, and they've always had good ads that kind of mix the ones above. They try to convey the feeling of drinking the drink, but with the humour of the Stride ones. Have a look on YouTube (I'd add a link but work has banned access to the site).

SkylersDad said...

As far as the Spot 5 commercial goes, I couldn't ever chew it because i would be afraid that Richard Dawson would keep showing up.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington?

Anonymous said...

Every time I see that Stride commercial I guffaw. Because there is nothing funnier than a hard horn in the balls. It will never cease to be funny.

The "Five" ads piss me off too. It's GUM. No amount of imagination will make it a magic potion of fantasy so just quit.

BeckEye said...

Here is the problem I have with Stride gum: I will never, ever buy it no matter how long it lasts because it sounds like some sort of feminine hygiene product. The ads are fine, but they should fire the branding agency who came up with the name.

Douchegirl said...

I think whoever came up with the Stride commercial concept is a genius! It's one of my favorite commercials.

dguzman said...

I too love the "spit it out" Stride gum commercials, but I actually don't chew it. (I've been an Orbit light-blue-flavor fan since it first came out.)