Navigation app Waze remind us that their platform supports location-based advertising — and underlines the idea that it’s the next big thing, making other forms of advertising obsolete — through the tragicomic sob story of one of those inflatable tube man thingies. He used to be the best way to point drivers to your business; now it’s Waze. The ad’s storyline takes in all the tropes of someone having a hard time — drinking alone, riding the bus without purpose, fighting strangers and getting arrested, and even attending a support group for outdated physical advertising methods.
This really works for us. Not only is the core idea very strong (reinforce the positive brand message by talking us through a fictional negative flip-side) but also, it’s well executed. The visuals are engaging, the voiceover hooks us in, and the ad follows a classic story structure with gags at regular intervals, so that by the time they hit us with the very obvious ‘deflated’ pun, it’s been earned, and it lands.
It’s layered, too. You just know we love comedic layers, and here there’s plenty going on in the background to reward the viewers’ close attention. Did you notice the name of the bar? The books next to his bed? The disappearing stubble?
A positive ending for our loveable lead sends us out on a high, and we love the way they didn’t slip out of character for a final sales line like, ‘Advertise your business location to nearby drivers, with Waze.’ It wasn’t needed, because the comedy had already done the job.
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White Label Comedy
This is one of the 50 funniest commercials in history, and also reached Number 1 in our round-up of the funniest commercials of 2020 so far.