Jonny Gomes Shaves the Day
"Well, beard, I just want to thank you for a beautiful 2013 season . You absolutely nailed it, buddy."
In Olympic commentator terms, Philips Norelco "absolutely nailed" this ad for their BeardTrimmer 9100. It's the perfect combination of concept, writing, execution, and editing. (Yes, Virginia, though Jonny's intensely intense character stars in this one, there was some excellent writing going on behind the scenes to frame his performance. Oh, and reality TV is scripted, too. Sorry.)
Maybe Philips Norelco paid Gomes a pretty penny for this ad, but they (correctly) went totally low-budget on the production. Now, I'm not saying that's a low-rent bathroom (whether or not it's Jonny's home turf), but the writer/director gets it right by maintaining all the focus on Jonny, I mean, Jonny's beard, I mean, Jonny's special relationship with his beard that can clearly only be trusted to the Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 9100. No need for an exotic locale, special effects wizardry, or a cleverly orchestrated sideshow with goofy stuff in the background. It's all "Here's Jonny!" all the way.
Technical Score: 10
The intentional lack of naming and describing technical features works perfectly, too. Product mention? "My new Philips Norelco here..." does the trick. He passes the razor's lazer beam over his eye a couple of times, saying, "That's kind of weird, but awesome." We get it: this thing is high-tech and the lazer thingy won't blind you. Show, don't tell.
He swivels the head 180 degrees: "No." Back another turn: "Yes." Oh, the head swivels. I get that, too. No narrator reading from a technical brief needed.
One more: "I've got more attachments than you know what to do with over here," and not: "The new Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 9100 features..."
But wait, there's more
There's even a fake ending in the middle, when we think Jonny has trimmed just a bit, but left everything intact. Then, with an abrupt "mustache off!", he proceeds to shave off half of it and observes: "Kind of like a newborn that's not new." It's just Jonny being Jonny.
The ad runs almost two minutes, so I won't spoil the rest. Watch it a few times to fully appreciate why this is a model for ads that match celebrity personalities perfectly with products they would actually use.
Now, will this ad translate internationally? The Red Sox do have a decent following in Japan. And "Red Sox Nation" claims fans in Norway, China, and Aruba. But the whole Red Sox beard phenomenon wasn't about baseball or the U.S. anyway, it was about characters, appearance, and unity, all universal concepts. And everyone understands winning. You don't need to get how much more a grand slam means than a three-run homer than that one additional run. Still, for those who are not familiar with America's passtime at all, here is a short video Explaining Baseball.
This Just In
Here's a side note on how connected and competitive the ad world is today. When I found the video on NESN.com of Gomes placing a Boston Strong t-shirt onto the World Series trophy at the site of the bombings, which ad played as the pre-roll? Correct, a razor ad from Gillette.
About the Blogger: Eric Moody is President of World Power Marketing. One of the services WPM offers: instant reviews of ads and all types of marketing materials.