Are you curious about how I rated that old commercial with the talking bumble bee? Just kidding, I haven't reviewed Cheerios commercials yet, but let me quickly say the bee from my youth is way better than this digitally animated, soulless version! And isn't he a yellow jacket bee, rather than a bumble bee? Or maybe a wasp?
Ok, off topic there for a minute. Check out The Listings for a catalog of all my old reviews with their scores and links to the original post. Pretty useful, eh? I thought so.
Before you get down to the meat and potatoes, let me explain the rating system.
First category: "Appeal." The appeal grade is quite basically how much I like the commercial. Yes, in this category it is all about me. I wanted to create a category specifically related to how funny the commercials are, but not all great commercials are funny. Some are visually stunning, some have amazing music with sticking power, others have great characters that become part of pop culture forever. But no matter what "it" is that makes a commercial work, "it" makes you like it and "it" makes you remember it. If the "it" works, it has appeal. Many times, especially for this blog, "it" is going to be funny. But remember those old Apple commercials with the black silhouettes wearing white ear buds dancing around to amazing music? Remember how it made you run and download those songs immediately. Yup, I did that. The songs gave those commercials appeal, and also made them very effective.
Great lead in, right? Next: "Effectiveness." Simply, this is a reflection of whether the ad accomplishes the first goal of any advertisement- does it advance the brand? Does it make you want to buy product X? After viewing that spot, has your opinion of this business improved? Does it make you think they care about you and your problems? Or, is the commercial over and have you already forgotten what it was selling? An effective commercial ties in the brand so you remember both.
Third category: "Longevity." The grade for longevity covers two concepts. First, whether the commercial is memorable or forgettable--does it have sticking power? Second, whether it's so irritating that it turns your stomach every time it comes on. These 15 or 30 second mini-films are repeated for weeks. If you groan every time you see the local mattress salesman's or car dealer's son appear on your TV, it's probably not working so well for Crazy Eddie's Mattress Emporium/Minivan Showroom. That's what you get with a $43 budget and an iPhone camera in a warehouse in Brooklyn. You might be able to stand it once, but on its 342nd viewing it gets a little old.
Easy. The "Overall" score is the average of the other three categories. I give each category a letter grade, and average them to get the mega score. Only the best of the best will manage to succeed in all three categories. I predict a lot of middling grades, because a commercial with a ton of appeal may fail to tie in with its brand, or fail to stand up so well on repeated viewings.