Ad Nut
May 16, 2018

Jenga in a moving car? Please.

Why create a product demonstration that's obviously complete and utter bullshit?

Ad Nut apologises in advance for the cursing today. Ad Nut is riled up. 

Call Ad Nut old-fashioned, but Ad Nut longs for the days when ads presented reasonable demonstrations of product benefits.

These days, demos are hopelessly passé. Instead, 'dramatisations' are popular, at least in certain quarters. But Ad Nut will never understand why you'd want to create something that looks like a demonstration of a product benefit, but is should Ad Nut put this?

Complete and utter bullshit.

And not only that, but such transparently complete and utter bullshit that everyone watching it has to know it's nothing but complete and utter bullshit.

The case in point above is from Indian tyre maker MRF and Lowe Lintas Bangalore. In it, MRF's superior tyres help a family realise an inexplicable desire to play a spirited game of Jenga in a car. They play on while the car traverses rough roads, swerves around construction sites, and even crosses speed bumps without slowing down very much. Yet the Jenga tower does not fall.

Now, Ad Nut could rant about how tyres have very little to do with how smooth your vehicle's ride is (it's the shocks and struts, people). But that's not the point. The point is that there is no known universe in which the Jenga game shown would be possible given the driving situations shown.

In other words, it's complete and utter bullshit. 

So what's the thinking here?

  1. Our potential customer is so ignorant of the purpose of tyres—not to mention the laws of physics—that they'll believe this complete and utter bullshit. We'll sell millions!
  2. Our tyres are garbage. Maybe we can provide a little bit of entertainment to distract people from our well-deserved reputation for sucking. We'll sell millions!  
  3. We're just having fun. It's a piece of entertainment that stretches the truth. Anyway, no one really cares if our tyres actually make the ride smoother. The ad's got a cute kid, and the dad screws up at the end, which is always hilarious (and not at all overdone). People will be overcome with gratitude because we entertained them for 30 seconds. We'll sell millions!

Ad Nut submits that none of those options says anything good about the brand's integrity, or its belief in its own product, or the advice its agency is giving. 

The first and second options are unlikely to be true, so let's address option three. While it may be fine to make a bit of entertainment, it's got to be grounded in something real if it's going to have any positive impact. Speaking as a consumer, Ad Nut has quite enough entertainment to consume, thanks. So brands should really save their money unless they have something solid to impart.

For example, Ad Nut still believes that a Timex watch can take a licking and keep on ticking. And Ad Nut rests assured that an American Tourister suitcase can stand up to abuse from a gorilla. Those famous ads are also dramatisations. But they are powerful ones. Because they're actually believable. And because they connect to actual product benefits. In short, they're not complete and utter bullshit.

People remember those ads decades after they aired. The only reason anyone would remember MRF, based on this ad, is for being completely and utterly full of...well, you know. 

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. Check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame.


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