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Time for another look at award winning radio commercials — spotlighting the good and the bad.

This one was a finalist in the 2009 Radio Mercury Awards.

Why this radio commercial is weaker than it should be: The problem they describe is not a problem that is solved by outsourcing your photocopying to Office Depot.

Office Depot simply would have saved that guy the effort of making all those copies of badly compiled documents. It would’ve been a much more efficient way of mass producing a job-losing bid.

That’s not the problem outsourcing the photocopying solves.


I do get the message: Office Depot does mass photocopying for you.

If I get the Core Message after a single listening, I must declare it a “good” commercial.

Let it hereby be declared.

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  • TJ KELLEY December 28, 2009, 5:38 am

    If I had heard this spot on the radio, riding down the road, listening w/ one ear like we usually do then what I WOULD’VE GOTTEN was that Office Depot must not only have some spellchecking service, but also somehow knew that Lyle was the CEO of the company.

    The only reason I got that they had the Xerox Super Team was that it was HERE and I was really paying attention to the ad.

    I have to respectfully disagree Dan..it’s not a good ad. It only makes the point if somehow it has your full attention. Until the script flipped, I truly thought there was a team of proofreading mathematical analysts standing by to assist in your presentation, not some people that know how to use a copier and a stapler.


  • Phil Bernstein December 28, 2009, 12:10 pm

    I’m going to have to disagree here. I got the point of the ad quickly, and I think that it offers to solve an appropriate problem.

    Henry didn’t have time to proof and spell-check the document because he was wasting his time on copying and collating and stapling the thing. Outsourcing the grunt work to Office Depot would have given him time to check everything over and get it right.

    In an environment where the target companies have likely laid off a lot of their support staff, that’s a pretty decent value proposition to offer an over-extended manager.

    They could have explained the point more effectively instead of stretching out the gag, but the idea is a good one.

  • Mike Hanson February 6, 2010, 11:44 am

    Let me break the tie. Phil’s right. The gag was cumbersomely constructed, but the value proposition is clear.

    And if we include Dan’s equally reserved thumb up, we’re close to piling on TJ.

    Copy writing is cruel.


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