I was surprised how many emails I got after yesterday’s post – while I do not have my career listed on my about page on the blog, I do refer to it in my Twitter bio and I have mentioned it a number of times – yes, I do work in advertising. People ask me this all the time – what drew you to the field or why did you choose a career in advertising? The answer is long and drawn out and when I pause on the bring of the story often people change tact and what is your favorite ad? Off the top of my head I usually say “The Force” by Volkswagen. Why? It is a great spot and most people have seen it, as it gained immense popularity when it premiered during the 2011 Super Bowl:
When I saw this campaign I went with my mom and bought the shorts in the first ad – shorts I bet half of you own, or have owned at one point. When I put them on I was proud to be an athlete. In the decade since they first appeared I have read a handful of articles and reviews that critiqued the campaign because, “it showed neither real beauty nor ordinary women.” I beg to differ. As much as I love high fashion, these ads are real. I recognized that I had a curiosity about people and behavior and how brands connect us to our aspirations and impact our lives:
All six images found via Google here.
The shoulder ad hit home the most as I had muscly shoulders from swimming and even recall one family friend telling my mom to stop letting me swim butterfly because I would grow “man shoulders”. You know what? I was am proud of my shoulders. They pulled me through more miles of water then I care to think about. And over ten years after they came out, these Nike ads still hit home.
I must admit, the path here was not a straight one and although this campaign is very far from what I am doing right now in advertising, they pack a punch. Thank you, Nike.