311. The Verrazano Bridge of Advertising.
Sep 10, 2010 at 11:49AM
jj

I had a professor in grad school who liked to say we were trying to build the Verrazano Bridge every time we attempted to logically connect two things that didn't make sense or when a concept was vague and overly complicated. Basically he was saying that our logic was a stretch and IF people 'got it,' it would take them a long time to get there.

Nothing I have seen demonstrates the metaphor better than this recent TVC developed by Leo Burnett London for Miller Genuine Draft. They are using clean graffiti—not an altogether original idea ever since UK artist Paul Curtis made a big splash a few years ago—to somehow demonstrate the idea that their beer is cold-filtered. The connection between clean graffiti and cold filtering or just between graffiti and filtering is sketchy at best. It needs to be explained as the spot tries to do in vain. "Sometimes it’s what’s underneath that counts, you just have to reveal it." Uh, okay. Welcome to Brooklyn friends.

See if you can make sense of the spot below (forgive the long intro):


Granted, the spot is just one small part of the campaign at large - as the press release says, "To support the launch, Miller Genuine Draft has also commissioned the biggest ever real clean art advertising campaign that will involve using clean art to communicate the campaign message on pavements, walls and bars in key urban areas." There's even an outdoor concert series called The Miller Filtered Music Program. (Not sure why I want my music filtered but whatever.)

Clean Graffiti. Clean Art. Reverse Graffiti. All the rage in '07:


I'm fine with using 'clean art' as the medium if you want to use something that was 'happening' in 2007; I just can't figure why they are trying to connect it to cold filtering. Makes no sense and isn't even necessary as the medium doesn't always have to be the message. As my professor Coz Cotzias from the AdCenter...er BrandCenter would say, "They're trying to cross the Verrazano with that." Well he'd say it better and with more expletives, but you get the point.

And just for your general curiosity, The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City at the Narrows, the reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger lower bay. The bridge is named for Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first known European navigator to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River, while crossing The Narrows. It has a center span of 4,260 feet (1,298 m) and was the largest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1964. All that courtesy of Wikipedia.

Article originally appeared on Graphicology (http://www.graphicology.com/).
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