Is This the Best Ad of the Year?

Watching paint commercials is like watching paint dry. Perhaps there’s some low tox formula that’s new. But it’s boring. Now enter Sherwin Williams’ new TV commercial.

Animated wild animals made of paint color strips wonder through the African jungle. It’s eye catching, it stops you in your tracks. It’s Avatar meets Lion King.

But advertising has to sell; and at the very end of the commercial, a single word “Ask” appears above the Sherwin Williams store.


One word. It’s exactly what happens when you buy paint: ask. For some people, asking is hard. Perhaps an admission of lesser knowledge. But by highlighting that single word at the end, maybe it’s a cue for people to ask a real human at Sherwin Williams.

This all boils down to creative + messaging, which, according to Chief Research Officer David Poltrack at CBS Television = 70% of the impact from TV advertising.

“What goes inside your precious 30 seconds is 70% of TV advertising’s statistical success,” said C3 Metrics advertising attribution measurement CEO Mark Hughes. “with Nielsen/Rentrak data, it’s hard to buy the wrong demo on TV. Poltrack’s study is one of the most ground-breaking, yet hardly noticed. With today’s modern TV attribution, performance can be measured down to the penny…and measured quickly”

TV creative is one of the most contentious and emotional topics at companies. Like one CMO who was made “CMO of the Year” by AdAge…when the CEO doesn’t like your commercials (with no data in hand), you can get fired or exiled.

But just like emotions in football games: at the end of the day, those emotions are settled with performance metrics. A number that says who won and who lost. In TV, data settles the score of TV commercials. Which performed the best and the worst…quantified down to the penny. Maybe save your job.

Left to watch paint dry.

But this…this could be the best ad of the year.