advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Glidden nuns will paint your house for free.

I kid. I saw the new Glidden ads over the weekend using Earth Wind & Fire’s Shining Star, and while I’ve not really broken down spots in-depth in some time, I think I need the practice because there’s a bunch of stuff going on here. (You can see the spot here.)

Basically, Glidden wants to you to feel better about your room makeover… in times like these. The main thought being that you don’t have to be a painter to love Glidden, supported by the insight that anyone can have color in their lives during depressing times.

This theme exploits the conventional wisdom that people need escapism, again, in times like these. Except that, changing your surroundings provides a mental lift anytime, not just when things are tough.

Supporting another notion that you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy painting, they then take people from all walks of life: Nuns, rappers and citizen journalists, then have them carrying paint cans to show anyone can do this. (Even a dog, pointing out the disbelief you held in check to this point because using an actual can woulda killed its mouth.)

(Below is the nationwide launch from last month that kicked off in New York City.)

All of this supposedly eliminates the mental barrier they think is keeping you from releasing your inner Trading Spaces AND Shining Star. When combined, this is supposed to be the spark that gets you going, and then you request your free quart of paint which they ran out of.

Got all that?

Good, Circle of Brand Life™ now complete because beaucoup boxes sure got checked off in this one. (I’m including a brief nod to the current flood of commercials using classic hits—Earth, Wind & Fire in this case—only to point out how much stuff is being forced into this one spot.)

Still, having painted for years and trying all the brands out there, this spot doesn’t feel right for me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate epic, like Valspar’s cool work. That’s also not to say others dislike this good times message either. Clearly, some get off seeing dancing nuns in heels.

Here’s where I come at it from though:

1) Painting. Sucks.
Always has. Love the results, hate the work involved. (The thing that makes it easy? A radio, being left alone, something cold to drink and that damn blue tape from 3M. That stuff is amazing.) In general though, no brand should lay claim to making the painting process enjoyable, just easier.

2) All paints are basically the same.
You shop on price. If there’s a holiday coming up and you need to paint a room? You’re buying whatever brand gives you $5 off a gallon. No nun’s going to change that fact because we ALL shop that way.

3) Gimmee a good color selection process.
When I finally decide to paint, the color selection process needs to be E-Z. I’m not saying it’s the main consideration, but it’s close. I see a ton of home improvement websites, and it’s here that Glidden’s spots lack integration with their online efforts.

It’s also here where I take the Onlineville exit for a more in-depth comparison of what two of their competitors are doing better.

*waits while readers grab drinks*

When driving people to your website, it needs to enable people to do what they need, not what your ad tells them to. My painting experience is not the same as the one the brand tries to force on me. Don’t deliver me a “big” TV spot and then drop the ball online.

After finally deciding to paint, what’s the one thing people have trouble with the most: Matching and picking colors, right? (Or the spouse who can’t make up their mind which color they want.)

Behr and Sherwin-Williams’ sites offer a better user experience in this regard, allowing people to visualize their rooms ahead of time. Glidden’s color selector doesn’t do that, not even close. Contrary to what the brand person in this clip says, being able to sit down and click through 10 different color schemes is a better way to see things ahead of time.

Both competitors have nicely-designed navigation and advanced features, (and overall, Sherwin’s is the fastest paint site I’ve ever used). They also have an iPhone app for matching colors while Behr lets you upload a photo of your own room to Paint Your Place. These are things that should be industry standards.

Instead, spend millions on TV spots only to skimp on the website? It’s one of the few places a person connects with a brand in terms of function. TV may set the mood, but web and retail do the heavy lifting when it comes to consumer experiences.

*cue DDB going, but hey, we didn’t do the site*

Understood. AND I AIN’T MAD AT YA. Maybe it was done internally or by an outside digital shop. It still all needs to work together. I don’t expect Glidden to be as complex as the others because even those go overboard, but I can’t help think how outdated this feels. The only positive is their handy room/paint calculator the others don’t have.

Otherwise, they have a color library withY2K functionality. Online catalogs that make an annoying page turn sound with no way to turn off. Colors aren’t clickable. Best of all: How do you justify a low-res image for your website’s backgrounds? (Guess craft services on the TV shoot ate up the hi-res iStockphoto budget?)

I did like the dog with the can and the bling on DJ Mix-a-swatch though.


M.M. McDermott said...

I get Glidden's wisdom, that people from all walks of life feel the need to compensate for the fact that they've been sucked into a recession driven equity-pit called home ownership, but what the hell does the ballroom debutante painted yellow have to do with anything?

Perhaps she's the foreclosure fairy.

Anonymous said...

All paints should own “staycation money pit” as a value prop.