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Sarah Silverman Obama Ad Can Teach Marketers How To Win

Posted by: David Kiley on June 26, 2009

The online video created by Droga5 and starring comedienne Sarah Silverman for the Jewish Council for Education and Research won several honors at the Cannes International Advertising Festival this week including a Gold Lion in the cyber category.

The “ad” is a teaching moment for those who choose to learn.

1. It doesn’t look like advertising.
2. It is entertaining.
3. It is totally connected to the issue [product, brand].
4. It spawned huge pass-along in social networking, as in “You gotta see this.”
5. It doesn’t look like advertising.
6. It breaks some rules. [Some marketers can be freer on the Net than on network or even cable TV].
Lesson: if it looks like advertising, people will be more likely to skip it.

I had an e-mail exchange with a top marketing exec at a major company this week in which he quoted the former Coca-Cola chief marketing officer Sergio Zyman to me: The purpose of advertising is to sell product.”

Yes. Okay. But that product won’t be sold unless the public is paying attention. Zyman created a whole lot of advertising in his day that just looked too much like advertising for my money.

I’d say the Obama campaign, plus efforts like this that were created outside the campaign structure, have more to teach marketers these days than just about any other advertising I have seen lately.

Reader Comments

Mergen from WEBGURU-CO.COM

June 26, 2009 12:03 PM

Wow, pretty good advertising! Surprised that I didn't see this before. One vote for Sarah, the Nana

Frank Loweser

June 30, 2009 9:24 AM

I agree. If most of the ads on TV were this engaging, I wouldn't skip 95% of them.

Ken Kadet

June 30, 2009 12:28 PM

I think your "Yes. Okay" is a bit too dismissive of the the idea that advertising should sell product.

Maybe it's not always "sell" but it does have to have a purpose. I liked the video when I saw it during the campaign, but if I'm going to consider it as a "teaching moment" I want to know that it a) had a purpose; and b) that it actually accomplished that purpose.

Otherwise, it's just noise, or a passing amusement.

sri vikas

July 1, 2009 12:32 PM

absolutely accept.

Advertising shouldnt look like advertisment.

Keep it simple and to the point and dont viewers for a ride..

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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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