George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Mad. Ave. helps to break down barriers

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

Mad. Ave. helps to break down barriers

Several recent ads are helping to break down various same sex and biracial barriers, while delivering some pretty good ads in the process:

Chase Bank’s wealth management division shows two young kids, an African-America girl and a white boy holding hands on their way to elementary school. Cut to the two again with the girl on a bike, probably going to middle school. Next they’re walking close to each other on the way to high school, then as young adults, and finally as presumably married and seeing a Chase Bank wealth management representative. Nice touches all the way.

Walgreens scores a hit with two ladies of a certain age, clearly together, first visiting a Walgreens for suntan stuff, then stripping their clothes off for a joint skinny dip at a nude beach. Delightful.

USAA (my insurance company) features a mixed race couple and their kids. She’s a vet getting USAA’s photo-fast service. The company specializes in covering current and former military folks with a variety of insurance services.

Women’s careers are the focus of a GE corporate ad announcing the company’s initiative to place 20,000 women in STEM positions by 2020. Good for them.

From the sublime to the nutsy

On the other end of the scale is a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup ad (yes, good ole chicken noodle soup!) showing a family sitting down to eat – kids and parents. Voice over declares, referring to the kids, “if they won’t eat it, a least you won’t have wasted a lot of time making it.” Wow! Now there’s an incentive!

It’s stupid, but maybe that’s why I like the spot for Hormel Pepperoni. It’s a one-man band – a familiar sight 40-50 years ago – walking in a circle with his drum, cymbals, horn, etc. all going full blast.

But the worst of the week is an ad for chi-chi-chi chia! Two chia pet characters supposedly representing President Obama and President Trump – hard to tell which is which – grassy hair and all!

Keep clickn’…

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