The state of film and TV advertising in America in 2011

I just judged the AICP awards here in Chicago.

AICP  stands for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.

So it’s the production end of the biz.

Getting your work into these awards means automatic inclusion into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.

That’s what gives this award show its cachet.

Your work will join Picasso and live forever!

Though I always pictured agency three quarter inch tapes being tossed into a dumpster in Queens.

“Yeah, sure!  We’ll put you into our permanent collection!”

Seeing all the best ads in the USA was kind of depressing.

Very little of it was fresh.

I spotted three trends that need to end now.

1.  The return of the advertising voiceover that is trying to sound deep.  It’s advertising.  You can’t do that.  And corporate videos make bad TV!  And Tim Allen is no Churchill.  He’s Tim Allen!

2.  The gag used in video game ads and a ton of other stuff where average people are suddenly involved in action sequences!  Shooting that idea is clearly an industry unto itself.  Stop!  Now!

3. Nerd humor.   This is attempting to be like the Gerry Graf era berries and cream ads but realizes it isn’t funny and then defaults to quirky casting that always speaks in monotone.  And EVERYTHING is maxed out for visual comedy.  This needs to stop too.   Try a jingle or something!

11 responses to “The state of film and TV advertising in America in 2011

  1. Could it be ‘maxed out for visual comedy’ ‘cos nobody is listening anymore?

  2. I don’t think so John. This is the new equivalent of the spot that used to be done in a self consciously campy manner to mask its lack of actual comedy.

  3. Thank you. Thank you for saying it out loud.

  4. ‘…self consciously campy manner to mask its lack of actual comedy’. Such as?

    • you know the one. they desperately try to technique their way to funny. usually ideas that have been tested to death. sad!

  5. “The return of the advertising voiceover that is trying to sound deep”.

    Like this?

    • i like those vik. they got morgan freeman!!! or his agreement to have his voice in their ads. tip of the hat for that. those ads would have scored big in these awards.

  6. Vinny, check out these spots I just finished, speaking of Morgan Freeman.


  7. No, I used a friend of mine who does national VO work. And he does some great voices. The last spot was a total accident, so I had the luxury of reverse engineering the copy, which allowed me to select words that were conducive to the read. I must say, a fulfillment of a dream. I have always wanted to use “mime” and “interpretive dance” in a spot. knocked ’em both out in one spot. Score!

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