ads without products

“For the Greater Good”

with 4 comments

Anybody else obsessively turning from whatever else you’re doing when the TIAA-CREF commercials come on. “There’s a place for us…” And this scene (in the newest iteration of the ad) of a professor guy in a huge lecture hall, out from behind the podium, hands a-punctuating his eloquent and excellent lecture.
Whoa. Little tears well up in the corners of the eyes every time I see it. Started running it during the Olympics, which was a good idea.
(For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – maybe every one – TIAA-CREF is the company that handles retirement accounts and the like for universities and other cultural organizations and I guess the medical field as well. They just started a huge ad campaign, featuring images of teachers teaching, nurses nursing, curators curating, etc… )
It’s a facinating ad tactic, playing right in to the academics general sense that 1) he/she is in the biz for reasons way beyond the personal, mercenary and 2) that society never gives us the thanks we deserve.
But the question remains – why in the hell does TIAA-CREF need to advertise so extensively in the first place? Sort of like those defense company ads that run now and again on CNN. I understand there’s bucket of money to be made, but is CNN really the right venue to get this sort of message across?
Weird…

Written by adswithoutproducts

September 9, 2004 at 11:31 pm

Posted in Television

4 Responses

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  1. So glad to find someone who feels the way I do about that commercial! (and I’m not an academic, just a wannabe, but perhaps that makes it even more moving).

    Mon

    April 1, 2005 at 8:35 pm

  2. I don’t know why, it’s a gut emotional feeling that seems inexplicable but when I see those commercials and hear that song it makes me want to cry. It’s a mix of childhood memories, thoughts of people who have passed away, just a gamut of feelings. Music can do that sometimes, strike a nerve so deep in your being. That song, “Somewhere”, does it to me, I can’t hear it enough. I have been to the Tiaa-Cref website where all the current versions are playable, it’s riveting.

    jon

    April 18, 2005 at 8:18 pm

  3. but who sings the version of “somewhere” in the commercials?

    shadra

    May 31, 2005 at 1:27 am

  4. David Sylvian sings one version. He was the lead singer of Japan in the ’80s and has enjoyed a solo career for some time. His version seems like it was based on the Tom Waits version.

    Steve

    June 5, 2005 at 8:59 pm


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