I love this VB ad from Droga 5. Why? It's funny, it makes me laugh. It's that simple.
From a strategy perspective, championing masculinity in a culture than increasingly encourages young them to lose their way in a sea of metro sexuality is hardly new.
That's what this is really about:
And this to be honest:
And even this (although it's done badly):
What I think the VB campaign should tell us is that you shouldn't be afraid to recommend a position that isn't completely unique - it's what you do with it that counts, it's the detail, it's planning for executions, not just the strategy that leads to it.
It's the detail that enables John Smiths to inhabit a world of No Nonsense, where the enemy is pretension.
It's what makes Old Spice about being experienced, with an incredibly rich and subtle stance against today's men who have lost the skills their Dad's had in place of girliness and preening, with a rich ironic tone that allows it to say lots more than it otherwise could (while I hate Bono, I always admire the way they used irony in the 90's to say mostly the same stuff they were mocked for in the 80's. Shame they forgot that that in the naughties).
What I think drives VB is a brilliantly obvious observation that groups of young men don't mince their words with each other, they're brutally honest when someone is being a tit...and that shocking epiphany when you realise what an idiot you have been.
The casting shows they don't champion masculine male cliches, just normal blokes who don't try and be something they're not, or forget who they really are. There is a real joy in male friendship too. In short, there's lots going on. That's because the strategic thinking didn't start stop with the creative briefing and the execution thinking didn't start with it either.