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Companies making inroads in ‘unvertising’

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Published:   |   Updated: March 25, 2014 at 05:14 PM

May I now coin the term “Unvertising?” I’d like to. Here’s why. The basic function of advertising — to rip off Don Draper’s theory — is that you create an itch, and then present your product as the balm/solution. So be it. Yet, in the cluttered landscape of both advertising and our own attention spans, big brands need to think differently. So they mock themselves, kinda. Unvertising Example One: Gary Oldman just appeared in an ad for cell phone company HTC, wherein he says “I could tell you how amazing the all new HTC One is, but I won’t.” Ok, Mr. Oldman, why is that? Well, because you either already know, or you want to see what others have to say about it. So, go ahead, then, he says. Go online and read reviews. “I’ll wait,” Mr. Oldman says....and then he sits there staring through the camera in that way only Mr. Oldman can. Which brings me to Unvertising Example Two: Anna Kendrick’s recent spot for Newcastle beer, in which she asks “Am I beer-commercial hot?” She decides, yes, and then throws a tantrum that Newcastle didn’t pay her, and she doesn’t even drink their beer. It’s irony, wrapped in self-referencing, wrapped in satire. That’s Unvertising. Awesome.

rmullins@tampatrib.com

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