Simple Stroke of Disruption

09 Mar 2008

appleretroad.jpgDuring the 2002/3 NFC Championship game, Nike premiered a :60 called Soccer Streaker. It was effectively a Super Bowl commercial, but airing it 2 weeks early was a simple yet adroit example of disruption planning.

Given the media glut in which we live, simplicity can sometimes be a point of great strength. Since the clean design of Apple/Google/Craigslist stays winning, I often wonder why so many Power 150 bloggers, who are ace in this market+brand space, have visually chaotic sites. If everyone is screaming, I’ll seek the lone, silent man.

Could a Brand re-broadcast spots that have been in the vault for 30 years? If it came out of left field, seemingly random and at off-hours, would the content feel like a whisper? A secret, ergo valuable, discovery for the viewer that could then build WTF buzz value? I’m not suggesting that this be the entire campaign, but if it’s a small % of your media buy, the ROI could be surprising.

The type of Brands may be limited, tech/cars/drugs no, but Kool-Aid? Methinks the recipe hasn’t changed much. Same goes for Alka Seltzer.

Deodorant? Though it’s not from the vaults, W+K tapped into this zeitgeist for Old Spice; putting us in a simple world focused on frenching, not twittering.

It’s these quiet yet novel disruptions, like Banksy in a Museum, that may soon gain greater traction in the advert game as the din of ‘new media’ increases.


  1. 13 Mar 2008 Gavin Heaton

    Some of those old ads capture the brand spirit perfectly. And nostalgia is a great way to re-establish that connection with former customers (and while I have never actually owned a Mac, I remember the Apple II fondly).

  2. […] Brilliant article about brands as tradable commodities in the NYT mag on Sunday. Of course once a brand is relaunched, with it comes with a wholly new ad campaign, or at least a remix of old codes. Within this space, I’ve been wondering if there is also room to run historic ad campaigns. […]

  3. […] think whomever chooses to step in this direction will certainly stand out from the crown by dint of difference, with great odds of retention, recall and […]

  4. […] memory and is thus all the more sticky. It’s also disruptive in a way that I’ve been waiting to see. I’m curious to know about how use of the jingle was brokered with Wrigley, and of course, if […]