You Just Got Van Dammed by Tostitos

Pep talks can go a long way. I find them useful and often give myself one right before my monster walks. However, none have been as inspiring as the one Tostitos delivered this past March about friendship. It hit on a universal fear and was delivered with a sublimely massive punch from Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, the martial arts and B-movie legend (and guest actor on Friends) was the spokesperson for Goodby Silverstein & Partners new campaign for Tostitos. The ad was titled “Pep Talk” and featured Van Damme fraternizing with a group of our supposed friends at a party, a poker game, a campfire, and even taking a selfie with them! It’s all because we, the replaced friend, always said we were too busy to hang out and thus found ourselves replaced … by JCVD!

The ad was grin inducing and its message clear, which made for a fine, easy ad.

Tostitos You Just Got VanDammed

Some Good

These were the parts of this ad that landed like a victory blow in Bloodsport

1. Message – The ad plainly placed Tostitos as the go to snack for hangouts. It’s perfect as the get-together fixture and the commercial was a sound route to take for Tostitos after its recent TV spots. Both campaigns focused on friendship and delivered the message clearly and quickly with the tagline, “Get Together Already!”

2. Van Damme – This was a left field choice and it worked brilliantly. Take Mr. Muscles from Brussels and instead of having him deliver a roundhouse kick to your face literally, have him do so subtly with a talk down disguised as a pep talk. No one wants their friends to ditch them or have them stolen, least of all by Jean-Claude Van Damme! His stone-faced approach added an intimidating bite to deliberately comical lines that had me grinning in cute amusement one moment only to be cowering in the corner in some sort of fear the next. Again, the tagline comes back. “Get Together Already!”

3. “You Just Got Van Dammed” – That’s a catchy line and I can see that being coined in the near future. I might have to start something.

4. Brevity – The ad was not long, which was great for the comedy and the message. Too often these ads are milked and drawn out with bad jokes that never end, which kill the initial gag we all found so amusing. Goodby Silverstein & Partners delivered this ad with restraint and it added effectiveness (and a much-needed “refreshness”) to the comedy and this type of ad. All those other ads that didn’t follow this approach just got Van Dammed.

Tostitos Van Damme Selfie with Your Friends

Some Bad

These were the parts of this ad that did not make a Double Impact

1. Scary – JCVD has always been intimidating, but now that he might steal my friends… I’m kinda’ scared of him. Thanks, Tostitos!

The Takeaway

This ad was not belly laugh funny. The most it got out of me was a whisper of a chuckle—but that was not a bad thing. I was grinning the entire time. The ad was engaging and clever, courtesy of the writing and Mr. Van Damme delivering the “punch” lines. It was executed with command and, because of that, its message of “Get Together Already” and don’t lose your friends to Jean-Claude Van Damme needs to be heeded all the more.

AUTHOR: Dan Nelsen
ORIGIN: Speaking Human Contributor

Follow Dan on Speaking Human  /  Human Content from Dan