The One Second Advert

One Mississippi.

Two Mississippi.

Three Mississippi.

Bored yet? I am. Someone somewhere, is brave as hell. While reading up on tweets from a favourite creative of mine (Hi Oli), I (he) stumbled upon a strange thing. It was apparently a one second advert, which required pausing of live T.V to read. Here it is, in all of it’s live-paused glory. If you look closely, you can actually see the reflection of Mr.Beale himself, from who I borrowed (without permission might I add) the image from.

Talk about negating a large part of your audience! Firstly, and most importantly, not everyone owns equipment to magically pause live television! Or, should I say, I don’t, so there must be other cheap and broke individuals in the same situation. Secondly, who’s going to actually pause and rewind television just to see a big block of text (sorry Oli). Really though, would anyone outside of the creative area be even remotely bothered by a one second advert? I really don’t think so. Life isn’t like the Simpsons;

Anyway, back to the advert in question. It’s fantastically written. It rolls off the tongue as you read it. Copywriting this good should be praised, but I can’t find anything about it anywhere. The only mention I’ve seen is from Oli. Granted I’ve not done an insane amount of research, but I’m lazy. It’s late.

One thing that irks me, is that it appears to be advertising absolutely nothing! Well, apart from where we should be putting our eggs. Who’s the client? What’s the product? What the heck is going on!? The obvious joke is that it’s an egg company like The Happy Egg Co, trying to get us to leave our eggs out in the open so they’ll go off quicker, thus increasing the need for new fresh eggs, but is it really that silly? Could it really be that simple? Probably not.

This lead me onto the entire idea of 1 Second Adverts. What else could you do with one whole second of air time? What would YOU do with one whole second of national TV air time? Flash the nation? Flip someone the Vs? Swear? Crude options of course, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind under pressure. Here’s another question; How would you sell something in one second?

Luckily, and as per usual, someone has beaten us to it. In this case, it’s Miller Beer.


My favourites were “Action.. and Cut”, “Beer’s here”, and the best was obviously “What’s my line”.

This campaign was successful for one reason; it made Miller stand out during the Super Bowl. If you haven’t realised, or you live under a rock somewhere, the Super Bowl is the Mecca of the advertising world. TV time is bought for more money than seems necessary, and ad agencies worldwide pitch their hearts out to be the next best thing. These ads can legitimately make or break agencies (CPB for Groupon in 2011 anyone?). Agencies strive to be different, funny, out there, wacky, or just straight up brilliant. The more customers that talk about your product the day after, the better you did. These one second adverts actually managed to push sales up of Miller Beer up over the previous year, proving that being risky, can actually pay off.

Somewhere in this blog post is a train of thought, but it got derailed somewhere. I think what I’m trying to focus on, apart from the pleasure of seeing something completely different and new, is whether a one second advert is actually worth an agencies time and effort. Can a one second advert change the world? If you’re pushing the product full on, probably, but if you’re writing a great passage about something like eggs, leaving nothing for a customer to go on and you’re not actually selling eggs, then no, probably not. Yes, it’s brave as hell, but has it paid off? Who knows? I doubt even the agency behind it does. With the Super Bowl on the horizon, I can only begin imagine what we’re going to see this year.

…And yes, I’ll be covering the entire thing. Aren’t you all excited.

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One thought on “The One Second Advert

  1. Dayle says:

    Me and my sister always have the time to rewind these short stories between adverts 🙂 . we find them very interesting and your the first person ive seen post anything about these one second ads . No one seems to know what im talking about when i mention them. But yes me and my sister both have the time.They are rather amusing 🙂 !

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