Just to vindicate a comment I made last night during the Academy Awards, I’m not the only person who found the new Charles Schwab add freakish. Slate’s Rob Walker (always astute) had this to say in this wrap-up of how advertisers are dealing with the war:
Be vaguely inspirational: By far the strangest ad of the night was a spot for Charles Schwab, the discount broker. Shot in black and white, it showed people filing out of Wall Street buildings, forming a huge crowd, and marching away from lower Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge as the announcer talked about Schwab having sparked a “revolution.” Last time we saw people streaming out of downtown on foot was, of course, Sept. 11. To echo that image, at any time, is bizarre in the extreme.
But I totally disagree with this estimate:
And Washington Mutual hit all the wrong notes with a couple of Jackass-esque ads. In one, a dirt-biker flies off a cliff and smashes into the rocks below. In another, a guy endures a bad drill job by his dentist, then gets hit in the crotch with a bowling ball. What does this have to do with Washington Mutual’s services? Actually, what are Washington Mutual’s services? These spots were pointless in a way that transcended current events.
We were all howling at the WaMu ads– maybe they’re just a hometown favorite, but I love all their recent ads.