"Best Message Creation of 2008": The Winner is Will I. Am

Posted by: David Kiley on December 31, 2008

It was a long year. We have recession that is flirting with Depression. The near collapse of the U.S. auto industry. The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States; a man whose middle name is Hussein. Amazing.

Advertising is in a full-body battle with the digital-video-recorder and the consumer’s ability to skip over any and every TV ad.

Considering all the TV, outdoor, Internet and cellphone ads, the social networking and video ads, it is hard to choose one single piece of marketing communications that is the best; that transcends everything else in the marketplace for getting a message across.

But, in my opinion, there was one such effort.

This Will I. Am and Friends video, “Yes We Can,” was self-directed by the music artist, not coordinated by or ordered up by the Obama campaign.

The reasons it is my “Best Message Creation of 2008,”:

1. Born from the enthusiasm for Obama by a talented artist, it captures enthusiasm in a rare way.
2. It is technically brilliant. The overlay of people speaking inside Obama’s own words was done flawlessly.
3. The use of celebrity is not beside the point. The passion for Obama, the product or brand in this case, is infectious not contrived.
4. Message delivered: Obama is cool because he inspires. He doesn’t inspire because he is cool.
5. It goes to show you that an ad done as well as this can hold eyeballs for almost five minutes.

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January 1, 2009 11:28 AM

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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