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October 22, 2010

I wanted to post this as a counterpoint to the Sherwin-Williams campaign below. Here is another paint brand focusing on the most physical element of the paint-buying process – the color swatch. You know, the little square of color that you can pick up and tape to your wall, then pretend you live in a room that’s 1.8″ by 2″.

While S-W imagines a colorful, but distracting, surreality, Valspar commits to a direct connection with nature. Both campaigns feature dazzling visuals, but Valspar’s stark, weather-beaten panoramas really speak to me.

There is even a sense of danger, making these ads strangely exciting. The boy slipping on wet stones, the ball disappearing into a pit, and the stormy skies all serve to put me a bit on edge. The ‘Rusted Earth’ spot pulls the same tricks, showing images of deep water, rock climbing, and owls (which always make my skin crawl). Maybe the campaign is meant to snap me out of my TV-watching daze, and force me to feel something.

While both S-W and Valspar’s campaigns are centered around branding these little squares of color, they go about it in very different ways. Practically opposite, really. But there is another similarity – an emotional vein that runs through the both of them. You can really feel a love for color, nature, and even you, the consumer.

I wish I felt this more often in advertisements. Which campaign do you like best?

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