Behold The Old Master With Pringles® Stix Up His Nose

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Color me surprised at the lengths big name companies will go through to separate themselves from the ever-present din of brand rattle.

A recent campaign that made an impression on me was an online Pringles® Adwords pitch that animated a self-portrait of Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). The point was to announce a new product called Pringles Stix.

Rembrandt Pringles stix

Pringles ad.

The brilliant potato stick pushers tried to convince me their product is snack-worthy by animating the sticks and shoving a bunch of them up Rembrandt’s nose. At the left is a still capture of the animation.

The great old master of Flemish portraiture, looking solemn in his later years, did not offer as much as a smile or change of expression after Pringles Stix were jammed up his orifices. The advertiser could have had a bit more fun by moving his mouth and forcing a smile.

I haven’t tried this new snack food. The ad failed to convince me to buy it.

Here’s a bit of context before I get to the point and call to action.

Rembrandt had a successful artistic career early on, and his good fortune showed in his jaunty self-portraits. After years of professional setbacks and severe personal losses, Rembrandt ended up painting mostly street people and his sad, remorseful self rather than high-paying commissions. The picture in the Pringles ad uses Rembrandt’s trademark style employing subtle lighting to highlight select parts of the subject’s face. He painted it near the end of his life.

Rembrandt van Rijn

Original portrait.

Back to the ad. How do dancing sticks in Rembrandt’s nose make me want to buy this product? I have been wondering how well this ad performed for Pringles.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the stats. All I have is an opinion. I think the ad is crap and whatever they spent was a big waste of money.

I dare the Pringles ad agency make me want to buy this product. If you sell junk food to me correctly, I will run out and buy it and eat the whole bag or can because I’m weak.

Show me the granules of salty goodness. Use words and images that suggest the product’s crunch and snap as I chomp on freshly unbagged junk food. I want to imagine the earthy smell of potatoes on my breath after I ate the whole thing.

A little info about Pringles:

The Pringles brand is owned by Kellogg’s corporation. A 2008 news article stated Kellogg’s bumped up their ad budget $250K to over $1B in total. That’s one BILLION spent pushing mostly cereal and junk food like this.

For media outlets and Kellogg’s ad agency… great news! For the stockholders… this is not so great. The same article mentioned that investors were concerned about ad budget bloat and demanded that advertising costs get back into line.

I am a hardcore direct response copywriter. It’s the lowest cost and most effective strategy to bring a product to market for the highest ROI.

Poorly conceived and executed work like this Pringles campaign would be inexcusable in direct response. Crafting effective direct response content is more challenging for the ad creator than big-campaign branding. Direct response marketing is a much better value for advertisers than big campaign branding, and the results are immediate and quantifiable.

Superior copy converts visitors into buyers. Words that sell pay for themselves.

I write high performing advertorials, landing page copy and full campaigns for dozens of products. I write copy that nails benefits, features and inspires curiosity in the consumer’s mind.

CONTACT ME NOW for pricing and copy that sells.

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