The Subaru ad (left) arrests attention with a strong, curiosity-prompting photo, explained by the typographically understated headline, “…the sedan that commands respect.” Apparently even birds refuse to, er, bomb this car.
The Mount Sinai ad (right) arrests attention by appearing to set up a joke, and finishes by contrasting their advanced medical technology with the “traditional treatment” you’d likely experience in a more commonplace hospital.
Each ad is engaging and well executed. Each dramatizes a claim.
But while the Mount Sinai ad persuades, the Subaru ad merely entertains.
The point that the Subaru ad communicates—in an admittedly delightful manner—is fanciful and irrelevant. Since car buyers generally do not rue the unavailability of respect-commanding vehicles, the ad raises no benefit. Moreover, far from showing that the car commands respect, the ad pokes fun at the very idea of respect. It leaves readers with a good chuckle but no reason to buy. (I know, I know. Other advertising people will tell you that amusing ads create awareness, and that awareness sells. For a discussion as to why this is nonsense, buy this book and read Chapter 5, “The Great Creativity Debate.”)
The Mount Sinai ad does a good job of convincing you to have your next surgery there instead of someplace else. The Subaru ad does a good job of convincing you that someone clever thought up their ad.