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Ask The Expert: Which In-Movie Ad Would Make It In The Real World?
A top creative analyses the best (and worst) of in-movie marketing

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You’ve got a great business idea – say, mobile parapsychology using cutting-edge proton packs and a big old ambulance – but no customers yet. Who you gonna call? Well, an advertising agency, naturally. Peter Venkman and co. may have taken the homemade approach but there are plenty of movie ads that have brought a professional sheen to things. But which would work in the real world and which would be consigned to advertising Mordor? We asked John Yorke of UK agency Fold7, co-creator of Carlsberg’s Great Escape-riffing campaign, to cast a professional eye over ten favourites.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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THE GHOSTBUSTERS

Movie: Ghostbusters (1984)

You're a small band of parapsychologists who need to get their name out to market, only you've spent all your money on an ex-ambulance, fancy overalls and the rent on an old fire station. Who you gonna call? Well, nobody actually. You just get a Camcorder and make an ad for yourselves. And not just any ad: a seriously lo-fi, homemade affair the majority of which camera-shy Egon Spengler spends trying to locate his mark. Surely this would get the big fail from a top advertising creative, right? Wrong! “This is brilliant,” stresses Yorke. “I love this ad.”


THE
EXPERT'S
VIEW
"Would this ad work? Definitely. You get this style of no-budget self-promotion with car lots in America: you're buying into the personality because there's no money to build a brand. The Ghostbusters message that they're 'ready to believe you' is very reassuring. The visual aspect is almost secondary because it's got a great selling point, a great strategy, a friendly tone and it's reassuring for its audience. I don't know if I could do it any better. If Fold7 were to do this ad, yes, we'd add bells and whistles and sell the Ghostbusters as a brand more, because the guys have actually got a great logo – you'd include some iconography that people can recognise and remember. But the strapline that they have - 'we're ready to believe you'- is perfect and you can layer the creative execution on top of that in lots of different ways. Are the Ghostbusters marketing geniuses? Completely."

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Your Comments

1
I've had the "Pizza Guy" jingle that Billy Crystal wrote in City Slickers stuck in my head for decades now... for all that it nearly got him fired, it was awesomely effective! More

Posted by kevtiggersmith on Friday April 11, 2014, 22:58

2
I'd buy that for a dollar. More

Posted by Himself on Thursday April 10, 2014, 23:51

3 What, no "Total Recall"?
"For the memory of a lifetime, Rekall, Rekall, Rekall..." More

Posted by Pssyche on Monday April 7, 2014, 07:33

4
You forgot Fruity Oaty Bars! :-) More

Posted by opera_jedi on Thursday April 3, 2014, 14:02

5
Or The Mattress Man... More

Posted by rjgraham on Friday March 28, 2014, 21:52

6
I was hoping to see 'Maury's Wigs' from Goodfellas. More

Posted by DancingClown on Friday March 28, 2014, 16:08

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