Over The Transom: What Wal-Mart Failed to Do

A Rifle Shot, But Only Metaphorically, Unlike Previous Ads Involving Shots From Rifles, But We're Getting Ahead of Ourselves

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The last time you heard from MasterLock, they were failing to blow open their product with a 30 ought 6 or somesuch high-powered weapon. About three presidents later, they're back on the screen.

Not the small screen, however. A new cinema spot from The Ungar Group, Chicago, answers two questions:

1) What happens if you give a decent production budget to an agency accustomed to shooting video with change pilfered from the office Koffee Klub?

2) If you make a padlock that looks like an iPod and glows, will you be able to create a desire for a product nobody asked for -- to wit: a padlock that looks like an iPod and glows.

The answer to the first question is: you get a very credible, very cinematic piece of work. Ungar has fashioned a hazmat scenario, a la E.T: The Extraterrestrial, at least as convincing as Spielberg's and no doubt at pennies on the dollar. The answer to the second question is:

Your guess is as good as mine. But my guess happens to be: yeah, they'll sell purple padlocks. First of all, the cinematic ad is being screened only in cinemas, where teenagers spend pretty much their entire summer. A rifle shot, in other words, next to the blunderbuss of TV.

Secondly, a light-up lock may be gilding the security lily, but it gives kids a way to stand out in school at a price much lower than anything you can buy at Abercrombie (in order, actually, to look like everyone else in school). MasterLock and Ungar would have you believe that the backlighting offers an advantage in dim school hallways, but let's be serious here. It's about the design, and the design -- like the ad -- is pretty cool.
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