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Crate & Barrel’s cool ampersand ads

Crate and Barrel used to be one of those stores that I basically ignored. After all, a single dude can get everything he needs at Target, if not second-hand. Then you blink and suddenly you’re shopping for area rugs and duvet covers with a ferocious sense of purpose.

Crate and Barrel knows it’s a store for young, cohabiting couples, and their new TV ad drives it home without showing a single kitchen mixer or coffee table.

Too sweet? No. It doesn’t force luvy-dubby images down your throat—it just shows words on the screen, which triggers your brain to summon the pictures from your imagination. Nicely done. It fits the brand into a well-worn story arc of falling in love, and it does so in a fresh way, with just 19 words.

Wink & Smile
Cocktails & Jitters
Flowers & Dates
Sofa & Smooch
Dessert & Spoons
Dessert & Spooning
Flute & Toast
Now & Forever
Mark & Katie
Crate & Barrel

There are other ads in this haiku-like series, too—for snow, hanukkah, mom-daughter, and grandpa-grandson. “Now&Forever” is the strongest one, and the only one I’ve actually seen on TV.

These ads are all copy, but it’s not all about copywriting. Only because of smart choices with design and branding is Crate and Barrel’s Helvetica logo recognizable enough to work with this concept. And the music does a lot of heavy lifting, too. (That song is “Stuck On You” by Meiko, the brand helpfully tells us on YouTube.)

These commercials have been airing since September and were created by TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles, under ECD Patrick O’Neill. It’s Crate and Barrel’s first TV campaign since 2007.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising

One comment

  1. David says:

    Not to be overlooked: this is an example of effective advertising on a small budget. There is no set, no models, no props, no stylist, no location rental, etc. I don’t know if budget came before creative or vice versa, but there’s probably a lesson there somewhere.

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