With Whopper Freakout upon us I was thinking about its deprivation approach in contrast to the classic Got Milk campaign.
Jon Steel used deprivation as a tool to generate research conversation around a category that was taken for granted. As we learned in Truth, Lies and Advertising the exploratory research at the front end of the campaign was the inspiration.
We imagine the research groups ablaze with stories of milkless woe, each respondent outdoing the other in their misery.
A strategy was born. The creatives went with it and the rest is history - a history filled largely with big television ads in all their witty, brilliant and decadent glory.
I say decadent because when you compare them with CP+B's version of a deprivation strategy a few things emerge.
Whopper Freakout is based on the same insight: you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. But where Got Milk was all about wrapping this in creative vignettes The Freakout is low budget, big idea. It's human to the core. We are
at once identifying with, and laughing at, the people at the counter
demanding their favorite sandwich. It doesn't require the imagined reality of fantasy scenarios or take us down a long
narrative path. It doesn't try to be a mini-movie; it's all documentary.
Back in the day Goodby could have hidden cameras somewhere to show people's behavior when denied milk (would have been much harder to do). But the context was different then and it would have been just weird. But now we're so used to seeing people on videos it's second nature.
Watching these two spots (is Freakout a spot? What should I call it, a video?) makes the Milk one seem so, well, it seems like such a commercial. Brilliant, yes. But it just seems like such an end to itself. A campaign only as good as its latest execution. It takes you to creative imaginaryland. But I watch Freakout and I just want to go down to BK and see (eat) what all the fuss is about.
And when I look at these two it seems to show how things are moving more towards a Google-like model of anticipate / act / adjust, rather than the long drawn out bowtie of research / insight / creative development.
Milk: Deprivation is the brief, brought to life creatively.
BK: Deprivation is the idea, period.
The path from good thinking to idea seems to keep getting shorter.