The Target Cartwheel Commercial That Uses The Music From “Semi-Charmed Life”

So it seems like Cartwheel is some sort of Target app. I don’t know…I haven’t really checked. But I just saw this ad. Any spot that uses “Semi-Charmed Life”, one of the best songs of the ’90s, gets my support. By the way, the version used is by Vitamin String Quartet.

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Target’s New Back To School Commercials

Last year, Target had an obnoxious (and obnoxiously catchy) back to school campaign that I just hated. This time around, I like Target’s ads a lot more. They show kids in typical school situations with instrumental backing of famous songs like Queen’s “Under Pressure” and “Another One Bites the Dust” , Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, and the Rocky theme. I actually saw another one featuring Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”, and I can’t find that one online now. Maybe some prudes objected to a song so blatantly about sex being used in a back to school campaign. Anyway, these should be on a lot in the upcoming weeks, so I’m glad that I kind of like them.

 

The 2012 Joshys: Part I

December is a time for year-end lists/awards and here at Commercial Society, I have my own…The Joshys. Just on a personal note, it’s been a memorable year for me. In late June, I moved to New York City to try to pursue my goal to be an advertising copywriter. The combined effects of being busier and lack of cable have meant that I haven’t updated the blog as much as I used to, but I’m still definitely going to keep it active. Now, a few things about The Joshys. I’ve kept most of the same awards from last year (which you can see here). Every award winner must be something I’ve covered on the blog. This eliminates some potential winners. Sorry. And there’s quite a bit of overlap between categories, but a commercial can only be mentioned for one. Without further adieu…

Campaign of the Year: DirecTV’s “Don’t”

This was a pretty clear-cut choice for me. Consistently funny and unexpected. There were a lot of spots in this Grey campaign, but I think the Phil Shifley one was the best/my favorite. Here’s the first ad and the one with Charlie Sheen.

The Don Draper Award: Best commercial of the year. These are the ads that make people want to go into advertising. The hardest category to pick a winner.

Winner: Wideroe “Grandpa’s Magic Trick”

Read the short description of this award. When I first saw this Norwegian commercial, I thought “THIS is why people want to go into advertising!” A beautiful setting, stellar acting, and a clear and smart message. Magical.

Honorable mentions: The Guardian’s Three Little Pigs: Compelling is the best word.

MLB 12 The Show “Cubs Win”: One of the best representations about the ecstasy and resignation of being a sports fan. Incidentally, the 2012 Cubs were one of the worst teams in franchise history.

Axe’s “Susan Glenn”: Maybe the best copy of the year. A huge departure from Axe’s usual lunkheaded marketing strategy. It’s a great commercial, but one that might make you squirm a little bit, as you’ll inevitably think about all the Susan Glenns in your life.

ESPN/This is Sportscenter “John Clayton”: If you watch ESPN, you know about nerdy football expert John Clayton. The alternate reality of him being a sloppy metalhead who lives with his mom is hilarious.

The Houston Van Gogh Award: These commercials were so annoying that they made me want to gouge my eyes out and/or cut my ear off. Or at least change the channel.

Winner (loser?): Target’s Back To School

Gahh. At least the back to school nature of these commercials meant that they weren’t on for too long. I have no idea how these spots have gotten positive reactions on YouTube.

Dishonorable mention: 5-hour Energy Pink Lemonade: 5-hour Energy has horrible advertising, and this sucks too. Dishonorable mention in this category for the 2nd year in a row. The fact that some of the proceeds go to breast cancer and the singer isn’t terrible-looking redeem this one a little. A little.

The Field of Dreams Award: Field of Dreams is a movie that is known to make grown men cry. This award goes to those tearjerker commercials that have the same potential.

Winner: Dick’s “Father’s Day”

Beautifully shows the father-son bond. The lengths that the father goes to see his son succeed and the gratitude in the end.

Honorable mention: Expedia “Find Your Strength”: Honestly, this is more of a pure tearjerker, especially since it’s a true story. The only thing that keeps it from winning is that it’s a longer-form, online video and not a commercial that would be shown on broadcast TV.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III.

phil shifley

Commercials I Hate: Target’s Back To School

There’s a place in the world for campiness, and sometimes it can be entertaining. But these Target back to school ads are just awful.

Target’s College Acceptance Extravaganza

So this new Target commercial featuring elated teenagers reacting to college acceptances reminds me of my own experiences. I applied to a few local colleges in Ohio and some out of state ones. But they were all places that were essentially on my level. I knew I would get into the Ohio schools and the other ones were more of a toss-up, but I wasn’t really surprised when I got acceptance packages everywhere. Getting in was only part of the battle, getting money from the schools was the bigger issue. I’ll just say my reactions were happy, but much more muted. By the way, I ended up going to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Anyway, the commercial. It’s nice, I suppose. I’m sure these kids busted their asses in high school and it’s cool to see them have a moment in the sun. Though the snarky cynic is me has a feeling that they’ll be less excited when the first student loan bill comes in. The song is “Soldier” by Ingrid Michaelson.

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