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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

ADdicted: The Boys

Some of my very favourite advertisements are "reveal" spots.

You know the type: the ones where you don't understand what's happening until the big reveal, after which, all the puzzling things you've seen up to that point make perfect sense.

Like this one, for instance...

There are three terrific lessons we can take away from this Manscaped ad.

1. Creativity captures and maintains attention.

Your brain is wired to solve problems. It's why when you're presented with a partial solution or unfinished task, you have a hard time letting things go into you find an appropriate resolution. (There's even a name for it: the Zeigarnik effect.)

The creative use of "the boys" in this spot prompts us to ask ourselves, "Why are those two little hairy dudes following that guy around?" And our brains won't stop wondering about that until we understand the reason, which isn't provided to us until the very end of the spot.

The creativity in this spot doesn't just serve as a hook, it's the reason we stick around until the very end.

Advertisers take note.

2. Rules are made to be followed, but sometimes "standards" are made to be sidestepped.

The creativity of this spot captures and maintains our attention, but it also serves another (arguably more important) purpose: it serves as a way to sidestep advertising standards that might otherwise prevent Manscaped from marketing a testicle shaver.

Innuendo can be a powerful device, after all.

At this point, we should probably commend Manscaped's legal team, whoever they are and wherever they may be, for reviewing this creative and deciding the risks were acceptable. I've been in situations myself where I've tried to deploy "creative solutions" to find my way around advertising standards that didn't entirely make sense relative to what we were trying to accomplish, and my success in doing so has been directly related to the creativity of the legal team assigned to review my suggestions.

I've heard folks refer to a company's legal department as "The Department of No", but I'd say the best lawyers aren't looking for reasons to say no, they're looking for ways they can say yes while still avoiding any negative consequences for doing so.

3. Not All Ads Are For You

I happen to love this spot. Not just because it was creative and satisfied my (admittedly juvenile) sense of humour, but because it also did a wonderful job of capturing what life living with... um... two hairy little boys can be like sometimes.

If you hated this ad, there's a good chance it wasn't made for you.

But it's far better to understand your audience and then target your communications to them... and only to them. If you do that, some people LOVE your ad and some people HATE your ad, but that's far better than producing an ad that everybody thinks is just "okay".

Manscaped surely knows that some people are going to hate this spot.

But they wouldn't have run it if they didn't also believe their target audience would love it.

Ads that are made for everyone appeal to no one.

Manscaped was smart to recognize that when they decided to create and run this spot.


P.S. A hat-tip to Karthik Srinivasan for sharing this ad in his LinkedIn newsfeed, allowing me to discover it.


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