Roy elvove

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Mazda Ad.

I’ve seen a Mazda TV commercial a few times over the last week or so and it offers up some nice imagery. A boy doing ballet in a locker room. A girl punching the weight bag. Footage of a car leaving traffic for a circuitous above-the-fray highway — stuff like that. The attendant voiceover poetically winsome.

At the end of the spot the voiceover echoes “Spread your wings,” a nice accompaniment for a deconstruction of the Mazda logo made to look like wings.  But for the most part there was no real tie to the car – certainly not rational tie. Film making.

The tagline to sum up all the ad: “Feel Alive.”  Talk about setting the bar low.  As opposed to feeling dead???  

I know car ads are tough. But whats the insight here? Old people are bored? Buying a car is as boring as watching TV?  Roy Elvove, a great adman friend of mine taught me to watch commercials and back out the strategies.  Now I watch them and try to back out the insights. Kind of at a loss with this ad.






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My friend, Roy Elvove is EVP Worldwide Communications at arguably the best ad agency in the world, BBDO.  But to meet “Doc,” as his wife and friends call him, you’d never know he holds such a lofty job.  He has worked at BBDO since 1999 and never, ever taken the spotlight off of BBDO, it’s executives, achievements or clients. The thousands and thousands of comms and news items he’s facilitated are never about him. I’ve followed the careers of many agency communications officers — their names (as spokespeople) are almost always in the pieces.  Not Roy. You can barely find his name in the company directory.

Google him. All you’ll get is a LinkedIn profile, maybe some alma mater or special cause stuff.

Like a good baseball umpire (sorry about the tired metaphor, Doc wouldn’t stand for it), his presence is most felt by not being present. Focus the news on the news. No byline needed. That’s Roy.

I hope he writes a book someday and finally shares half of what he’s seen. But it will never happen. He doesn’t think that way. Brand first. Brand only.




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