I’m an absolute believer that the best commercials have plenty of humor or elicit a particular emotion. There is plenty of research out there backing this up. How is a 30 or 60-second commercial going to capture my attention? The average attention span is roughly 8 seconds, less than a third of a 30-second commercial. This is a tough challenge for advertisers.

I’ve written a couple of posts about my thoughts on “good” ads here in the past. But today, I’m going to give you two examples of ads currently running right now  — one good, one bad.


McDonald’s: ‘Nothing Comes Before Coffee: Mom’

If you are a Mom and you see this spot, your immediate reaction is to drive to the nearest MickeyDees to buy a cup of joe. If you have a sibling, you can relate to the arguing. And when you’re in college, you know just how important coffee is. So, the ad is easily relatable to diverse types of people and segments of coffee drinkers and McDonald’s customers, despite this particular ad featuring the POV of a mother of two very typical children. Here’s another version.

Usually, I’m not a fan of McDonald’s ads. And so I was pleasantly surprised by how great this ad was. It’s very hard to pull off a commercial where you tell a story and sell your own product in a brief 30-second spot. I see brands struggling with this situation all the time. This McD’s spot had a solid balance between being funny and being relevant and they totally nailed this ad. Give a bonus check to the Creative Director on my behalf.

It’s a very funny ad, and very straightforward. The coffee cup is distinctly branded as the mom sips it. It’s a unique way to tie in coffee and McDonald’s. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I watched it, but it was a well-made commercial. The kids make this ad hilarious. After the first cut back to the Mom, a little light went off in my head. It makes sense, it’s funny, and it’s relatable. Bingo.


Gap: ‘Meet Me in the Gap: Cher & Future’

I understand the “gap” between the ages, but I don’t get why this is a Gap ad. Cher is 71 and Future is much younger. These days, agencies and brands just toss some celebrities in an ad and assume it will be magically great. I guarantee you that Cher and Future both don’t shop at GAP. It’s a unique collaboration, but I’d prefer to just hear the song. The ad doesn’t even promote the brand! All it says is, “Hey we’re GAP, and we have 2 celebrities singing a song and sitting on steps! Oh, and they met in a GAP store!” The clothes don’t look like they are from Gap, but I truly hope they are. And let’s take a moment to cringe over how Future’s jeans have the biggest cuff in modern history.

After doing some digging, I found clarity in why Future is in this ad. “It’s part of my DNA, growing up wearing Gap and now to see my son wearing it and in a campaign ties the whole family together,” Future explained to XXL Mag. Future also discusses how meaningful Gap was to him, especially since his 3-year-old son modeled for the company previously.

Without knowing that information, this ad makes little sense. Why pair up 2 different types of artists for a clothing brand they don’t wear? The copy is above average (the animation is too fast in my opinion), you have two well-known celebrities, and it’s a unique twist to a song. Great. But you are the Gap. As a consumer and wearer of clothes, in my mind, Gap is for kids and pre-teens. I’m sure my generation will agree with me on that. Future did. And that goes back to my initial point, why Cher and Future? Two completely different generations, talking about a brand focused on kids. I am not buying it – or clothes from the Gap.

What ads have you seen lately that have you cracking up? Any that make you fall asleep?

By: Alex Siminoff @alexsiminoff