Felix and Oscar's Take on the New Fall Line-up
By Spyro Kourtis, President of The Hacker Group
Felix: So what do you want to watch on TV tonight?
Oscar: If it's Monday, I'm watching football.
Felix: What about something uplifting, like Riverdance?
Oscar: That can't still be out there.
Felix: I have it on DVD.
Felix: Okay . . . what about something new? The new TV season is starting. What's caught your fancy?
Felix: Terrible reviews.
Oscar: It's not even out yet!
Felix: But still.
Oscar: Okay. (Sigh.) CSI: Reykjavik.
Felix: I believe you're making that up.
Oscar: Doesn't matter. I'll watch whatever you want. I'm more interested in the ads. I like predicting which ones will succeed. Makes me feel like a TV critic.
Felix: Really? You can tell which commercials will work?
Oscar: Sure. Piece o' cake.
Felix: How do you do it?
Oscar: Well . . . remember that Kia commercial we saw last night?
Oscar: I rest my case.
Oscar: It didn't work. You don't remember it.
Felix: Give me a hint.
Oscar: Save the Greenback.
Felix: Oh my goodness! That was adorable! What do you mean it didn't work? I loved it!
Oscar: You didn't even know it was for Kia.
Felix: I didn't even know it was for a car . . . I thought it was for Greenpeace at first. But it was so cute!
Felix: How about the nikewomen.com commercial?
Oscar: See, that one was good.
Felix: Because of the gorgeous athletic women?
Oscar: That helped. But it worked. We both remembered it -- even though we're not close to being their target audience. It does the job in a positive, emotional, involving way. And it had a call to action at the end.
Felix: What call to action?
Oscar: You said it yourself -- nikewomen.com. If you were a female athlete, there's a decent chance you'd go online and check out the site.
Felix: So a successful commercial always has a call to action.
Oscar: Not always. Usually the action is implied. It's "buy me." But what all successful commercials have in common is some purpose beyond making the audience smile and say, "Wasn't that cute."
Felix: But if a commercial isn't entertaining, doesn't that mean it's boring and no one will pay attention to it?
Oscar: Boring is in the eye of the beholder. Too many ads try to appeal to everybody instead of to just their target audience. Hemorrhoid cures aren't boring if you have an acute pain in your . . .
Oscar: I'm just sayin'.
Felix: So what show should we watch to see the best commercials?
Oscar: For you, Felix? How about Rescue Me.
Felix: And for you, Oscar, we'll find a re-run of What Not to Wear.
Spyro Kourtis, president of The Hacker Group, oversees his agency's strategic planning and relationships with a number of Fortune 500 clients including AAA, Expedia, Hilton Hotels, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, MSN, Oracle, VISA, Washington Mutual, WebEx and World Vision. He is publisher of High Performance Direct. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.