Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The best ad I've seen in decades.

The best ad I've seen in a long time, maybe since Apple's 1984, maybe since before that, was on television tonight. I saw the ad while I was watching "Jeopardy!" though it didn't come on during a commercial break. It was the show itself.

I'm talking, of course, about IBM's Watson computer and its defeat--rout, actually--of two former Jeopardy! champions. It was a devastating display of technology and advertainment. You can read about it here:

There's really not much more I can say about the performance of IBM's Watson. He/it not only got all the right answers, he was lovable and quirky while doing it, making some fairly inexplicable wagers and a couple of hare-brained responses. Just like a human would.

I guess my point is fairly simple.

The best advertising is news. The product makes news in what it does and the way it communicates is also news.

Yeah, I know, you could go a lifetime in this business and never have any news to communicate other than "now with a fresh lemon scent." But if and when you do have news, if you're lucky enough to have a client or a product with the "breakthroughness" of an IBM, or a Mac or even FedEx, thank your lucky stars and give viewers a glimpse of the future.

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