Advertisers, break free from your TV addiction…

A few weeks ago I found this 12-step program to understanding TV advertising formats. I am not sure if it will remove or reinforce advertisers’ ingrained reliance on television advertising! But read on…

For those who don’t know him, Donald Gunn is a former JWT Creative Director whose claim to fame is the Gunn report – a third party assessment of the best advertising campaigns. Third party means supposedly objective – always an interesting concept in an industry where subjectivity reigns. Nevertheless, it’s gone like Robert Parker with wine – Gunn’s choices now garner almost as much attention as some other advertising accolades and awards like the Clios or the Cannes Lions.

Gunn recently talked with online magazine Slate and described what he considers the 12 types of advertising formats. Well, really he’s talking of 12 types of TV commercials formats… repeat after me: “advertising = television commercial”.

Gunn has been there , done that and his analysis makes for a very interesting reading, especially since he illustrates his theory with several recent campaign examples conveniently embedded as Youtube clips.

Are these formats universal? Gunn implies that little has changed in decades, and that new commercials are simply variations of the same old themes. But as video becomes more and more common online, can things evolve?


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