Brand: Dow (The Dow Chemical Company)
Link: Click Here (it is the first campaign called ‘The Human Element’)
This narrative commercial connects the earth to elements and elements to people.
The production values on this lavishly executed spot are film-worthy. The cinematography is impressive and the pacing and narrative closely follow documentary standards. This may impart some feeling of credibility with the viewer. Dow uses a simple combination (you are a combination of chemicals + we care about chemicals = we care about you) to link itself to humanity.
This advertising blog has been unforgiving of corporations who do not sell to consumers but insist on using broadscale media to advertise. We understand the arguments – it’s good PR, gives the stock a halo and may give the company some protection from media attack. But we do not fundamentally see any evident which suggests that corporate advertising for brands or products which sell only business to business is useful or effective. This money would be better spent on trade advertising and real PR efforts.
Even ignoring this basic media planning issue, Dow’s new campaign stands out a singularly ineffective. The branding is almost non-existent in this spot. The Dow name flashes on the screen only for a brief moment before the end of the spot. And the brand proposition is missing. Dow gives us no reason to believe they are a better chemical company or even that a chemical company is a good thing to begin with. The argument is there (chemicals are life and they sustain life) but made so weakly that it is not recognizable.
Another executional error in the campaign was to use a voiceover talent who is either the same person who does the “MasterCard – Priceless” spots or has a voice close enough in pitch to be indistinguishable. Consumers who are familiar with that campaign will spend at least the first third of this spot waiting for prices to start appearing.
Dow’s inexperience at advertising has also led to an extremely and possibly needlessly expensive spot.Â There are at least twenty different set-ups in this spot which have been shot all over the world. Beyond wasting money in broadscale media, this spot was extremely expensive to produce.
Branding Bottom Line:
Cleaning up the Union Carbide mess in Bhopal would do more to improve our image of Dow than this sweet, empty advertising.