Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keep California Beautiful dot org

One great thing about getting a “good” message out there is the free stuff.

Better directors, better talent for less, people donate their time, their costumes, props, and even air time.

BBDO West made this spot look like a million bucks, though I doubt that was the budget. Kudos for that.

Here’s my critique. It’s a cute spot. Entertaining. But will I get involved? Will I schedule a clean up? Probably not.Here I was, ready to join an online group to stay in touch. But they didn’t ask. If I had joined a group, and if a clean-up was happening on some lazy Sunday, maybe I would’ve gone.

It seems the world is outgrowing the traditional clever spot. It’s not enough to entertain. Especially not for a cause.

So while this spot is very entertaining, has my behavior changed? Honestly, no.

Even if someone sees this spot and goes to the website, the website doesn’t convert. There’s no next step, besides a small Facebook button at the bottom.

Point is, there is a MISSION here. Let’s keep California beautiful. In my humble opinion, this spot doesn’t so much engage that mission as it just makes fun of kitsch.

To quote Gareth Kay (formerly of Modernista!, now of Goodby Silverstein, congrats Gareth) … “Do stuff, don’t just say stuff.”

And here’s one of many useful slides from Gareth’s most recent presentation… I didn’t hear him present, so I’m assuming this chart outlines the old way of evaluating good creative (on left), and the new way of evaluating good creative (on right).*

When you have a cause, don’t just entertain me. Enlist me.

(* A few great thoughts from Gareth Kay are posted on Just search his name.) I'm reading: Keep California Beautiful dot orgTweet this!


  1. Hi David. :) I am guessing the strategy was not to inspire people to action, but to halt action. Not to mobilize a beach clean-up, but to just raise awareness. And to do it in a way that's not preachy. That's really hard to do.