Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Morgan Freeman and the Crystal Ball

The Beijing Olympics have seen fantastic viewership numbers, with NBC and many of its Olympic partners benefiting far beyond the original projections. And of course, many of the biggest advertisers have used Olympic themed ads to help draw us in to their own brand stories. Some of these are transparent, some expected, some touching, and some border on clairvoyant.

I'm talking of course about Visa's Morgan Freeman narrated "Go World" campaign, which already gave many people goosebumps without some absolutely fantastic media planning and foresight on the part of TBWA\Chiat\Day.

The planning to which I'm referring involves two ads based around Michael Phelps. Each mentioned the specific number of Gold medals Phelps had at the time of the commercial, which was quite a feat considering how often that number changed. More amazing, however, is that the fully-produced commercials ran in the commercial pod s(that's adspeak for commercial break for any non-adfolk readers) IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING the win of another medal. That means, that months and months ago, the agency put together these ads and bought the space, on the assumption that the events they described would happen. It's a good thing, too, since Morgan Freeman was hospitalized before the ads ran, which would have made it impossible to get his voice-over done in a timely fashion if it hadn't been done already.

The result were two ads that were so relevant to that very moment, audience, emotion, etc., that they almost seemed to be living, breathing things. My hats off TBWA\Chiat\Day.

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