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Robin Thicke and Paula Patton
The best advertising enrobes a product in a warm blanket of strategically evoked emotion that can dramatically heighten the effectiveness of the ad. If done artfully, the most powerful emotion in the universe, lust and sex, can be extraordinarily powerful tools toward this end. In this Remy ad, we see a skillful application of the aphorism that 'sex sells' through an artful exploration of a dalliance between Robin Thicke and Paula Patton.
This presentation works extremely well on a number of fronts. First, the protagonists in the ad are both very attractive and realistically exude a considerable measure of chemistry between them. Their looks and glances back and forth - among the many potential distractions - communicate a sense of real desire between them that is tangible to any viewer who has also experienced that feeling. He wants her and chases her up the building - of course with two Remy's in hand. The heat rises as they move up to the "cooler" floors above and as Paula loses the bottom of her gown.
Second, the context is mysterious and opulent. It's an urban environment, but it is dark and perhaps even a bit ominous. It reminds me of what a 21st century Wayne Manor might look like. It's an aspirational event and a place full of 'the beautiful people'; a great context for this kind of image driven, adult, alcohol brand.
Third, the allure of the spot is increased because, those who know, know that Robin and Paula are husband and wife. The spot works without that knowledge, but the perception of urgency and chemistry goes through the roof if you understand that there is reality to the passion portrayed onscreen. They really do want each other!
From a structural standpoint, Remy does a great job of "owning" the spot without overwhelming it. In my view, the best corporate branding is, in fact, subtle: enough to firmly put your stamp on the communication without beating consumers over the head with it. Remy succeeds here.
If there's a minor critique, perhaps the ad could have ended with a stronger brand pay-off. It could have presented Remy in a position of being a more obvious and unique solution to the drama of the spot. Maybe they meet on the rooftop and after a brief "hard to get" look, Robin hands Paula the glass and - in a tighter shot on her face - she beams a wonderful and sexy smile back at him. Who knows, maybe there's even a kiss or an embrace too. A stronger payoff would show Robin "getting the girl" - but more with the help of Remy and perhaps most important, illustrating a more compelling emotional victory. As is now, Remy might be considered something of a prop, almost irrelevant to the story. (As I've written, why be a mere product placement in your own ad?) That said, the subtlety of the ad as is, I think, is effective.
Over-all, it's a very strong ad. The music and lyrics are very nicely integrated into the spot. The chemistry is hot! The brand has clear ownership! Very nicely done! Four and a half stars!
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