Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Vineyard?

You’ve probably seen the ads. A brokerage firm uses a technique in which the actors appear as animation. It is an eerie affect but effective in that it grabs our interest. And our attention is exactly what this advertiser wants.

The gist of the commercials is that this particular brokerage firm deals in reality. It will help its clients prepare for an achievable retirement. It offers guidance that makes sense in today's economy.

I am not commenting on the pros or cons of using this brokerage.  My purpose is to ask you to consider the effectiveness of the ad itself.  Have you noticed it? Do you listen to the script? Does it speak to you on any level?

The rotoscope animation caught my eye instantly, as it was designed to do, and I was fascinated by the effect. How do they do that? It reminded me a little of the way The Polar Express was made with image capture technology.

This ad campaign intrigues me as a writer. The script tells the story succinctly and gives voice to what many of us are feeling.  How often have we seen commercials from other investment firms that show us long, deserted beaches, foreign travel destinations, and, of course, the California vineyard? How did we react to those ads?

To be effective, writing must give voice to what people are thinking and feeling while, at the same time, imparting fact and truth. The reason some written work has been with us for centuries is that the authors were able to do that. In A Tale of Two Cities, as an example, we recognize our own penchant to become an unthinking mob while we retain the hope that we could be as self-sacrificing as Sidney Carton.

The brokerage ad campaign is not Dickens. However, it has been around since 2005 and it does tap into what I’m sure many people are thinking - a vineyard?

And that’s good writing.

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