Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

RIM, the maker of the Blackberry smartphone, released a TV spot ostensibly retelling Moby Dick through the Blackberry by showcasing the phone’s capabilities, but in reality reducing a literary masterpiece to inanity by younging it up. You know, for the kids. If you haven’t seen it yet, let’s watch:

This spot bothers me, but not because it’s denigrating a classic. I believe there are no sacred cows, and that there is a time and a place to skewer anything. What bothers me is that there is an implicit assumption on the part of the advertiser that the core demographic can’t understand complex themes, so don’t even bother trying. I find the spot condescending and totally unnecessary.
Like literature, advertising is an art. I can imagine the snorts of surprise and have actually been scoffed at for making such a remark, but it’s true. Combining text, sound, imagery and motion to deliver a client’s message as clearly and succinctly as possible to the intended audience is a delicate balance that is simple, but not easy. And there is a big difference between simplifying and dumbing things down.
P.T. Barnum famously said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American People…but I really think that we, as advertisers, have a responsibility to not participate in dumbing down the message, simply because it isn’t necessary. If a client needs to talk down or treat their market like dolts, then perhaps they ought to take a hard look at their product.

More To Explore

Creative

Getting B2B Results on Social Media

There are plenty of well known B2C brands that are killing it on social media. Wendy’s has gained thousands of followers and fans with their

Contact Us

Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.