And it's a question that I, as a copywriter, am asked to deal
with on a daily basis.
In the age of iPods, DVRs, PDAs, LCDs and cell phones, one
could argue that the debate over what composes strong
advertising is hotter than ever with consumer attention so
divided. So, instead of talking ads, I thought I'd stir the
debate by reminding the Talent Zoo crew of the most memorable
images that seized my attention in 2006 - and what
action they provoked...to briefly explore what moves people
Here are the top five images that stopped me cold in
5.?The Image: A Kobe Bryant 18-foot overtime buzzer
I'm a sucker for good drama - and no other NBA player
supplies it like Kobe Bryant. It was Game 4 of the 2006 NBA
playoffs against Phoenix. Taking the ball off the jump and
dribbling to "his spot" (which is seemingly every square of
hardwood), draining the game-winning jumper and doing that
classic fist pump. The eruption from the Staples Center crowd
still gives me goose bumps.
What I Bought: A digital copy of this game from
Google for $3.95.
Killed and Injured U.S. Soldiers in Iraq.
Transmitting bright, revealing images of the injured U.S.
military in Iraq, my HDTV spilled heartache, confusion and
agony over missing limbs into my living room on the HBO
documentary, Baghdad ER. I wanted to look away, but
to do that would be to deny our country's current plight, and
What I Spent: A $20 donation to
3.?The Images: Mel Gibson and Michael Richards - dead
In the era of reality TV, it's hard to believe that anything
said on TV (or YouTube) can still make someone's jaw drop. In
this department, these two sound-bitten celebs made my mouth
go not just agape, but spill a puddle of drool, with their
classic cases of bad judgment and uncensored hate.
What I Didn't Buy: A ticket to
Apocalypto or the Seinfeld Season 7
2.?The Image: A homeless man rummaging through my
Nothing puts the halt on my petty problems more than someone
who's got it much worse than me. Upon seeing this sad image
of a middle-aged man pillaging a germ-infested dumpster for
recyclables and a day's pay, I did the least I could do in
that moment: Stop thinking about myself.
What I Gave: All the empty cans of soda, cat food and
bottles I'd saved up in my garage and a few minutes of
genuine human interaction. I'm pretty sure it wasn't enough,
1.?The Image: A
little pink stick with a positive message.
A measly e.p.t. Pregnancy Test meaning I would be a father
in 2007 (responsible for sending life-changing messages to a
rapidly growing carbon copy of me) caught my attention in a
way no outdoor billboard ever would. What did that powerful
little stick prove - that condom advertising isn't working
hard enough? Maybe. Upon further review, it apparently means
I'll be a dad - and is definitely the most potent image I'll
remember from 2006.
What I bought: A lot of "How To" books at
What do these five instances prove - that traditional
advertising is dead? No. I'm sure some force beyond nature is
responsible for my holiday purchase of an iPod Nano.
But it does show that people (like me) are often moved by the
unexpected. And that's what we, as advertisers, need to keep
striving for: the unexpected. No matter what comes through
our aural and retinal passageways, the most provocative
message is the one that hits further south - in the heart or