Saatchis Is Riding The Zeitgeist That Few Others Seem To Have Noticed, Despite The Fact That It Almost Literally Stares Us All In The Face Every Day.

Can you spot the common thread between the following:

And this.

Full marks if you spotted that they’re all ads produced by Saatchi and Saatchi London in the last year or so.

Even fuller marks if you noticed that they’ve all been shot with the kind of cheap, everyman production values that you’d find in the average YouTube clip.

And that’s a good thing.

We’ve all been watching plenty of YT for years, so its visual language is something that really ought to have been harnessed before now. Despite the fact that its whole ‘thing’ is all about being genuine and home-made, the above ads have managed to borrow that vibe without any kind of ‘giant corporations stick their nose in where it’s not wanted’ backlash.

In fact, the opposite has been true: there’s no need to explain to what extent T-Mobile has been a hit, but everyone loves that Carlsberg ad, and what’s not to like about the NDS promo?

What I don’t understand is why there’s really only one agency in town that’s successfully doing this for its brands. Usually the ad industry is the first to rush headlong towards the next successful craze, yet there seems to be very little stand-out work that is YouTube-esque.

In America, the best practitioners of this strand are Cutwater, whose Ray-Ban virals won a Pencil last year:

And, of course, the daddy of them all from Droga 5:

So if it works, why aren’t more people doing it?