Earlier this year I wrote a long, historical review, of the Apple 1984 spot and why I thought it was the best commercial ever produced for any Superbowl: (http://thenewadvertising.blogspot.com/2008/02/best-super-bowl-ad-ever-apple-1984.html). Recently, my business partner and Jugular creative director, Jeff Griffith, told me about this inspired piece of work that was used to open the 2007 Hatch Awards show, a Boston creative competition. The brilliant video is a send up of advertising testing, the bane of all creatives, where "consumers" sit in a room and opine about a storyboard rendering of the spot (which you see at the beginning of this video...hang in there through this section...it's worth it).
We ad types sit behind the glass and listen intently to what often are a range of inane and off the wall opinions. The problem, as you'll see here, is that the respondents (focus group lingo) rarely can make the kind of directional comments that can improve the work. For example: "confusing," "too symbolic," "literary allusions to George Orwell bore me" or "Nazi imagery has been overused." Instead they insist on rewriting the spot to "improve" it. Well...here the focus group trashes one of the best tv spots ever produced. And this is a REAL group. A perfect testament to how focus group testing can kill the best work...and how hard it is to "test" truly revolutionary, unique advertising.
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