Monday, December 6, 2010

Chuck and Vince drop the truth

For the longest time, the citizens of Toronto had to go through back hoops to get rid of their electronic waste. Now suddenly we can just take our e-waste to the curb on trash day. And everybody in Toronto knows this, thanks to Chuck and Vince.

This government ad is a great example of how to get a message out quick and cheap to a target audience:
  1. Keep the message focused. 
  2. Have your creative people create compelling content that delivers a focused message.
  3. Management's job is to hire the best creative people to do 1 + 2, and prevent anything from interfering with their work.
Sounds simple right? Well if it is that easy, why do most government ads make me want to vote for the opposition? Let's see what Chuck and Vince did differently:
The simple message is that the City of Toronto wants my e-waste. The humour made the message more compelling, but that was because the humour was honest and effectively supported the message. When you are spinning something to promote an agenda, you are no longer compelling. And so much of government and corporate advertising is spinning an agenda.
The City of Toronto hired talent from Second City. Brilliant, these are world class improv comedians. They can take any idea and turn into magic, instantly. Management let talent do their stuff and didn't interfere. Honestly, does this look like an ad from any government body you know? Some manager took a risk, did not follow the safe route, fought off the sharks and let the talent deliver. 

Did it work? Well ask any Torontonian how to get rid of e-waste and you are likely to get the right answer. And the video is now spreading virally on YouTube. Those of you that can count might have observed that other ads have hits that are orders of magnitude greater than Chuck and Vince. True, but in fairness Chuck and Vince are two large guys with message about waste disposal while the young sexy couple in this condom ad with 6 million plus hits is, well, it's just not a fair comparison.  But just like Chuck and Vince, this talent delivers a simple message with some very compelling content.

Social Media has a way of pushing the compelling content to the top. And nothing is more compelling than a simple truth.

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