Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yeah, yeah

Clearly I'm in line for a bit of commentary flak for posting this now but I think if you're trying to claim some sort of right over a piece of advertising just because you've already posted it on your blog, especially when it's the newest piece of work from Fallon, you're an unhappy person styling yourself as a nihilist.

I don't think it's great idea, quite apart from being a terrible victim of gonzo advertising syndrome. But I have some insight as to why it's turned out the way it has, which I'm prepared to share with you, if you're prepared to be mildly bored for the next two and half minutes.

And come on, it's not like you're doing anything really important.

I've worked on a brief for a similar TV, one which has superior capabilities to the Bravia. The feature they're talking about is the screen refresh rate, that is the rate at which the television replaces each still image on the screen with the next still image on the screen, in order to create the illusion of movement. Traditionally this happened 50 times or 60 times a second, a speed that was dictated by the frequency of the AC current, so the screen refreshed every time the current was on. That's also why the refresh rate is measured, like a current, in Hz.

TVs have run at 100Hz (or refreshes per second) for ages. But because the TV signal delivers images at a rate of 25Hz (or refreshes per second) on these TVs the same image is refreshed 4 times per second. What the Bravia does is to look ahead at the image that is coming up and produce, using a fiendish array of logarithms, three intermediate images. You can watch this on their site if you can be bothered, but just take may word for it.

Now here we have the reason that the creatives chose the zoetrope. But I think they did so because they were overjoyed to have found something that seemed to explain the proposition that they had before them. And by making it big they could make it spectacular. And by putting people in there gawping at it they could make it look modern.

Now if you've trodden the dark and flinty path of technical explanation and AV internet forum research this idea may feel like a sudden ray of sunshine. The zoetrope is a nice way of approaching what it is that makes the Bravia different. The problem is that this explanation does not, in fact, matter to anyone, apart from the Sony marketing manager. And he's only pretending because that's his job. So really you could have made nice ad about things moving smoothly, without the zoetrope, and it would have all been peachy and you wouldn't have a load of unemployed bloggers trying to reverse engineer the process you went through in order to pointlessly carp about your ad.

The only way I could see that this might possibly have worked would have been in you'd run it totally unbranded, and then relied on the consumers to go retrace this trail of explanation in order to work out what the hell the ad meant. This would also have had the advantage of participation, which bread-wearing, consonant-miser, Eaon Pritchard has identified as key to a healthy consumer-brand dynamic.

I did leave the flat today, but now I have biscuits and all is right with the world again.


simon said...

Best comment so far on a what really is just an average-to-ok ad that I'm sure the vast majority of viewers will think is for Nike.

Pauly said...

Maybe it demonstrates what happens when you follow the brief too closely.: client's pleased but everyone else is bored
(inserting faces of beguiled onlookers fools no one).
Is it easier when you having nothing much to say? ( balls, paint
and the other one - er? yes- Tony Hart rabbits)
Whatever I think the "zoetrope" may just remind people of the flickery quality of LCD tv's.
I'm a cathode ray man myself -even if it does make my lounge look like a room from the V&A.

Mike Laurie said...

I'm disappointed Gordon. This is the kind of writing I expect to find on a proper ad blog. You should be ashamed.

Gordon Comstock said...

My apologies. I don't know what came over me. I will post about a facet of a mental health disorder immediately.