I have frequently noticed that the best advertising (and design and film-making etc) is frequently the product of simply getting out the way of the product or subject material. And literally simply letting the true voice of the the product come through.
The best advertising always has an air of the inevitable about it. Can you imagine a better tagline for Nike than “Just Do It”? I can’t. Why? Because it’s the ONLY thing worth saying in that category. I know. I once toiled on Reebok. Their tagline wasn’t “Just do it”. Problem! it was like advertising a battery whose competitor “owned” the longer-lasting battery brand territory. Sometimes there’s just one thing worth owning in a category and the fact that a competitor is perceived as “owning” it is immaterial. Adidas realized this and basically started doing Nike advertising. Brilliant!
An alarming number advertisers (and ad agencies) resist doing the obviously smart thing. The obvious has gotten a bad rap over the years.
My first boss, a ferocious ad legend whose name must not be mentioned for fear he read this and comment, used to say that advertising’s job was: “to help brands realize their destinies”. At the time i thought it was a bit high-falutin’ but now realize how right he was. What is the best possible outcome for your brand? That! Let’s do that. And only that.
And time after time he just did the obviously smart thing for whatever product he was advertising. . And consequently his campaigns ran for years. Decades in some cases. Some are still running.
Let the product speak. Get out of the way. Success will follow.