LAST EDITED ON 03-27-06 AT 12:17 PM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON 03-27-06 AT 12:15 PM (EST)
I knew Synergy's idea of the "From Father To Daughter" for the cereal billboard was a loser right off.
How did I know? One word: Oldsmobile.
Remember the Oldsmobile ad campaign of the late eighties-This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile? It was a series of commercials which had an old guy driving around in a real snazzy car, with the younger people admiringly coming up to look at it. It got simply immense coverage, it was all over the airwaves.
In fact, it was so ubiquitous, people were making jokes on the theme, like this is not your father's (fill in blank), in normal conversation.
But guess what? It turns out the ads didn't sell any Oldsmobiles. After a whole series of commercials-not billboards-on the theme, they just couldn't get anyone to buy an Oldsmobile because it is a venerable brand that your parents bought.
People buy things because it is what THEY want, not necessarily what their parents want. When the TV show Friends became popular, the furniture chains knew they had a problem. The people in their twenties and thirties were coming in and looking for furniture like they saw on the show, and all the stores had nothing but the overstuffed chairs and sofas of the fifties and sixties. One show actually caused a changeover in the furniture industry.
I'm not even in the advertising or retail industry. These things are more or less common knowledge. The idea of passing something down from one generation to another has been tried and flopped. As soon as Allie came up with that father-to-daughter bit, I knew the team was doomed.
I think it might be possible to pull the "great tradition" bit with something like Tiffany jewelry or some product that has been recognized as the very best in it's field, whose name has become synonymous with the very idea of quality.
Olsmobile was a nice enough car, but certainly not known as the luxurous best. And the notion of trying the idea on a breakfast cereal is ludicrous.
Certainly,it did not help the team that the idea itself was so badly executed. That's another issue. And many of the contestants were only teenagers during the Oldmobile camapign. Still, many contestants are in retailing, marketing and similar professions, and you would think that at least a few of them would have known that the "from one generation to the next" theme never works.