Why the New Clif Bar Commercial Kicks Ass

There are tons of great commercials out there, particularly in the outdoors industry.

Because I know just how much everyone loves watching commercials, this new blog series is going to look at some of the best ads to come out recently, and discuss what makes them so good.

First up on the docket: Clif Bars ‘ First National TV Spot, titled, “Make it Good.”

About the Ad

Clif Bar is one of the top players in the energy bars market — occupying nearly half of the market share for the wellness bar category. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Clif Bars, but I do know some folks who think they taste like sugar-free brownies. To each their own, I suppose…

When someone says they don’t like Clif Bars.

Up until this ad, Clif didn’t market much in the traditional sense. Instead, they seemed to thrive mostly through word of mouth and by sponsoring outdoor athletes, events, and competitions.

While the 30-second version of this ad is the one being shown on TV, we’re breaking down the minute thirty version — because there is so much good stuff that doesn’t deserve to be cut out.

What Makes This Ad Great

If you’re going to try and make a splash with your first big national tv spot, then you might as well go all out.

And go all out they did.

“Make it Good” checks off all the boxes for a strong advertisement:

A good message?

Talking about how our planet is not doing so hot and how we can do better, and then positioning Clif Bar as a sustainable company with eco-friendly products.

Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty compelling.

Engaging visuals?

This colorful world that we’re thrown into is a beautiful blend of both physical and digital effects. It’s fresh, modern, and fun.

A Funny script?

“I stopped here because it’s our logo — I’m a logo now,” is a fantastic way to close out the ad. It acts as a great punchline to a script that seamlessly blends the drama of our relationship with food and the planet with humor.

And that’s where it really shines. Consumers are inundated with ‘ greenwashing’ companies trying to advertise to them all the time. So, if you’re going to break through that clutter, humor is a great way to do it.

There is something about using jokes and being a little self-aware — with the over-the-top visuals for the selfish businessmen and women and dramatization of the ‘breaking news’ anchor — that encourages people to trust you more.

So, by the time that “The Biker” finally gets to explaining how Clif Bar has been a sustainable company for 27 years, you believe him.

The outdoor settings of the advertisement were a great fit for the product, which is often consumed by hikers, bikers, climbers, etc.

In creating the ad, Clif Bar teamed with Callen, a start-up ad agency in Austin.

“Doing a campaign with Clif about ‘Make it good’ was easy. They’ve been doing that for years, and we just had to find a fun and interesting way to remind the world. Our approach was a unique take on simple, bringing the Clif climber to his natural habitat: the forest, the mountains, nature,” says Craig Allen, the chief creative officer at Callen, in an Adweek article.

Despite spending a lot of time talking about how sustainable they are, the overall message of the TV spot is clear: If you want to help the planet, shop for products from companies like us.

In other words, they are still positioning the consumer as the hero of the story.

“If you like good things that have pumped good into the world for 27 years, well, maybe you should try Clif Bar,” the heroic biker declares as he begins his ascent up the mountain.

The final verdict: 5 screeching bald eagles out of 5.

Originally published at http://writingoutside.com on July 1, 2019.



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Bryce Boyle Hoban

Sr. Content Writer and Strategist @HookAgency. I call Minneapolis home.