advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A long way to go for a whiteboard.

Somewhere PR is saying to themselves “Can’t he just run the damn spot and Facebook without a *lesson*? Ehhh, no. Much as PR wants them to be, ad blogs aren’t fax machines. Deal. So anyway, “The Magical Classroom” is an amazingly cool and inspirational short for the SMART Board, an interactive whiteboard. It’s part of a larger Love of Learning theme carried out through Facebook etc., but what hits me is how much it feels like way too much effort for just a whiteboard.*

It’s like old video games where the artwork on the outside of the box was better than the actual game, and how you felt a little cheated after seeing the real graphics. (Speaking of, the real benefits in the classroom are also up for debate.) Contrast it with this other spot a year ago from SMART though:

The Magical Classroom has an inspirational theme with a moving score, and made me want to go learn about dinosaurs in far away places.

The second clip is a soup to nuts features-laden instructional video that I stopped after 1:16. Why? Because it shows me all I need to know about what the whiteboard does.

The problem is, neither clip did both.

The first one was uplifting stop-motion porn with an emotional track, guaranteed to win awards, but it didn’t tell me one single thing about how or what this thing did, leaving me wondering what it was for as I watched. The second clip showed me immediately how it worked and where it could be used, but was about as inspiring as a test pattern.

Not that they have to always do both in one spot, but revealing both messages for consumers is what advertising will continue to struggle with as the dynamic of advertising continues to change.

(Agency: Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG.)

Especially for schools faced with real budget concerns, dropping $2-3K per piece per classroom is a legit concern. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

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