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March 31, 2008

When creatives get bored before consumers do.

I've always liked the Whiteboard ads. Yeah, yeah, I know a lot of you too-cool-for-schoolers are haters but I think the campaign is smart, differentiating, and appropriate for the brand. Top it off with the fact that is sells pretty hard, too. I've also always felt there was a real charm to the simplicity of the spots and the clever illustrations. But a great deal of that goes away, for me anyway, once you add the animation and the extra characters in with Azula.

So, here's the question I'm posing to people who know or would like to posit: Did the campaign need to evolve for message or did the creatives simply get bored before we (or at least I) did?


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Great point. It is definitely the creatives getting bored before consumers on this one. Simple, but cleaver drawings must have not been enough.

But to be honest, I'd rather have them get bored too soon. Then beat the idea to death like what happened with the Geico Caveman.

Just thoughts from a snot-nosed kid. Much respect. Peace.

I don't know if they got bored so much as they fell victim to a mentality of "This one thing worked so well, this other thing will work even better!"

I thought the ads were great at first, but now the neat, simple idea that made them compelling is almost totally lost. Kind of a shame.

The original surprise of a sketch's metamorphosis creating an evolving story line was fantastic for me. Visual surprise and benefit tied together beautifully.

The animation makes me wonder if we're in Minority report now, and to over-use the phrase, has cause the campaign to jump the shark for me.

My question is whether the creatives got or bored or if the client did?

The originals were appropriate for the brand because of their inherent simplicity.
Adding the animations and other people didn't just water down the ads, they changed the concept. Sadly, it looks like an anxious client got their greasy little fingers on it. As far as I'm concerned, it was the same as throwing in some starbursts and shots of smiling employees.

I've been thinking about this quite a bit. I like the old spots, too. However, I think the new spots, as well as the new website (whiteboard.ups.com), speak to the technology that UPS utilizes in service deployment. They are not just fleet of brown trucks and planes, but a forward -thinking organization.

Plus, there are so many spoof spots that keeping the original idea fresh was tough.

Seriously, check out the website before passing verdict.

Like my G'pa once said, "Integration is the spice of life." Or maybe it was "Old Spice is the spice of life."

Before I saw the newer obviously animated spots, I started to wonder if they were actually drawing anymore -- or if it was being done in post. While I still think the concept works, I was a bigger fan of the simple line drawing execution.

Much like the Master Card "Priceless" ads, this series has jumped the friggin shark. Time to move on.

And yes, animation is a key indicator that you're out of ideas. I think it was John who said a while back "computer animation is not a concept" regarding spots for Starburst, or some shit.

I go with the latter, the creatives got bored. The previous messaging was simple and elegant. It broke through the clutter of other ads and differentiated the brand from its competitors.

By making something complicated that didn't need to be they ruined the brand for me. I had come to the same notion this weekend and was pleased to see someone else write about it.

Last week, I played telephone pictionary in a house with about 20 people. I was the only advertising major in the bunch.

During the game, one of them mentioned the recent UPS commercial, saying how it's very unrealistic, unlike the ones before it. The whole group had the same remarks; they liked the knowing the guy actually drew on the whiteboard. But now there was a disconnect, and they didn't like it.

Ironically, the spot came on later that night when we were still playing. Everyone kept their opinion, even after I let them know that the actor is the creative director, and he probably did draw everything. Personally, I believe it complicates what was a simple message.

Jumping the shark, getting bored, I'm not sure what happened here. But once again simplicity loses. The other example of this that really chaps my hide is the Corona TV. Admittedly this is an old beef. They used to create great scenes - little :30 vacations you could put yourself into. Then they they had to start pulling back just enough to reveal generic, beige people in the close of the spot. I don't know if the client pushed to depict a demo or what, but the whole vibe, and a nice campaign, was immediately ruined for me. They actually piss me off now when I see them.

Yep. Didn't we all learn this lesson from Sesame Street? One of these things is not like the other, indeed. I have to wonder, as some others have mentioned, if it's the client rather than the creatives messing this stuff up. With that said, if I hadn't seen the other spots, I don't think I would be too upset. BTW, there are a few funny parodies on YouTube.


You are reading my mind! I just saw this spot on TV on Sunday and was so disappointed that they'd strayed from the original concept. I think the animation ruins the simplicity that was the initial "click" with consumers to begin with. I'm afraid UPS is victim to the agency getting bored with a great idea. I see this happen a lot within our walls and it always makes me sad. The pace of our world is outstripping our pleasure. I hate that.


Like many other posters, I'd look at the client for this one. I imagine they probably got a little overzealous.

They broke the cardinal rule, if its not broken- don't fix it. On the bright side, I don't think they deviated from the plan so much that they can't go back.

This ad just seemed to lack the personal connection.

If you look at ups.com/whiteboard, you can see the idea really expand. The web guys are obviously having a ton of fun playing with the concept and pushing it in new directions.

So my guess isn't boredom but jealousy. The general creatives look at the website, see how cool their simple idea really is and want to do similar things. Or, they see how cool the site is and decide the spots need to reach that level.

Stephen Land

These spots have seemed to strike an interesting chord among most creatives. Whether for better or worth one cannot argue that

1. It's simplistic design is notable and noticeable.

2. It's being talked about.

Therefore it's worked.

Regarding the argument that the client or creative got bored I believe it is completely bogus, for the single reason that the spots have continued and "increased" in production cost (i.e. moving animations). Sure it might not have the ringing true that Mac vs. PC ads have but I believe the simplistic approach to execution is brilliant.

Just my thoughts.


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