today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pantene shampoo thailand - ad that did not shine

this is a tv ad that asks a lot from the viewers for you to like it. it asks you to like it both in obvious and not at all obvious ways.

its easy to like the ad - there is a story and its a very dramatic story. everyone likes a story of triumph where the unlikely overcomes barriers and succeeds. this is also told in a very graphic way - there is a protagonist we love to hate and a heroine we love to love.

i forgot - this is a tv ad for pantene, a shampoo brand. yes, shampoo for the hair. but lets not get into that. its not that important.

the other part that this ad is asking us is what science fiction movies asks us to do and it is the only way we can appreciate this tv ad. we all know what science fiction movies are - they are make believe, the exact meaning of the word "fiction". the only way we can appreciate a science fiction movie is for us to suspend logic, throw away common sense, ignore truth and yes forget about science. there is much irony there - to enjoy a science fiction movie, we need to forget science.

that is the only way to do it. in a science fiction movie, we need to believe super heroes are real. humans in human life forms can fly and women have super powers. if we don't do it that way, there is no point in watching the movie as none of it will make sense.

that is what you need to do in this ad. you need to believe that a person who does not have the sense of hearing can learn to play a musical instrument and that a beaten up violin put together only by crude industrial tape can still sound beautiful when played, of concert quality no less.

if you don't treat those like you treat elements of a science fiction movie, you won't be able to appreciate all 4 minutes of this commercial. it is one of the longest tv ads i have seen. we don't think the ad was aired a lot of times in thailand given the length and the cost involved in airing it but even that we are willing to suspend logic for.

its a long ad because of many repeated scenes, over-extended sequences, unneeded scenes and subplots. we think the editing was very bad as many of the scenes specially those repeated were unnecessary to repeat. many of the scenes could have been taken out, specially the repeated ones and the story will still be intact.

the scene with the cocoon transforming into a butterfly then in flight we thought was unnecessary. the story itself of the little girl growing up then learning how to play was enough and actually very obvious that we did not need to see the cocoon to butterfly transformation. besides, in the first place that is not the point of the story. the story is about a girl who has dreams of playing a violin overcome adversity both her physical inability and the other girl protagonist. this is a story of overcoming adverssity, not of birth to adulthood or fulfillment.

before we forget, this is an ad for a shampoo brand. that is one more weakness of the ad. the ad forgot what it is supposed to do. it even missed the part of showing glorious hair at the end pay-off sequence. they tried to do it with the flowing and flying long hair but the shot was very poorly done. the hair was not shiny at all and the lighting was over-exposed that you are unable to see good volume of the hair. having poor cinematography at this sequence we think is a mortal sin and a huge opportunity loss in making a great sale for the brand.

ironic that the tagline at the end is "you can shine". we think its a WAWAM!



  1. am so sure what she's playing is the Canon Rock, because I like it very much. By Jerry C on guitar version... :)

  2. it is beautiful music and fits the ad very well.


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