In advertising today, there are few new ideas. Instead, there are countless executions of old ideas, but few are as well made as this new two-minute commercial from Burberry.
This remake of “Singin’ in the Rain,” has been perfectly updated for our time. Because in 2020, it doesn’t just rain, ice bombs pour down from the sky.
In this short film, the people who wear Burberry are ready for any challenge that comes. The Burberry coat becomes a superhero cape, but in an oddly believable, totally entertaining way.
More Song and Dance, Please
Great commercials tend to educate or entertain the viewer. When the product being advertised is a soft drink, there’s not much need for product education.
Dr. Pepper, for one, has been singing and dancing its way into American living rooms for decades. Let’s flashback on this Black Friday to 2003, shall we?
Dr. Pepper is not like other colas. Dr. Pepper has flavor. Therefore, the brand’s commercials also have flavor. This is right and good.
A Friendly Pepper Upper with a Tasty Beat
Dr. Pepper has been different from day one. Let’s look at this vintage drive-in theater ad…
I like the animation. The attempt to sound like a beatnik is forced, but I bring this reel forward to highlight the long history of brands working themselves into pop culture. The most common way to do this is to draft off of a popular song or film. The higher bar is to create a pop culture moment with the commercial itself.
Jingle First, Then A Chart Topping Hit
In 1971, Coca-Cola’s Hilltop commercial became an instant classic.
The idea originally came to Bill Backer, an advertising executive working for McCann Erickson. What you might not know is how the jingle (minus the Coca-Cola references) went on to become a big hit for The New Seekers, who sold 12 million records and had a number one hit in the UK behind the power of this song.
The point is brands don’t always need to follow or fit into the cultural zeitgeist—they can also lead and define new cultural spaces.
Brands can introduce new ways of thinking, new ways of talking, new behaviors, dance steps, and so on. Or they can trot out another tone-deaf product pitch and pretend that people care. Both routes are expensive. One pays for itself. The other does not.