You Can Stand Under My Umbrella
Travelers snatches its logo back from Citi.
I also think the campaign finds a nicely placed sweet spot in terms of its tone. The art director who worked on the spot says he was going for a "modern fairy tale" vibe. There's a lighthearted mood here that contrasts with all the fear-mongering insurance ads on TV, with their terrifying footage of floods and car accidents. At the same time, the umbrella is a much statelier brand icon than Geico's hammy lizard. It manages to be both elegant and, thanks to its size, in-your-face.
I wonder if Citi is jealous? It's like their dowdy, neglected girlfriend met a new guy, got a stunning makeover, and is now flaunting her enhancements for all to see.
Grade: B+. The pretty scenery (filmed in New Zealand) and the cinematic touches are nice, but it's the well-executed deployment of that zany umbrella that really makes the spot memorable. And, by the way, that's no computer graphic. It's a 35-foot-tall, custom-made umbrella. During shooting, it was stabilized by cranes that were later digitally erased. One of the ad guys described the surreal nature of the scene on set: "Walking through downtown Auckland with this thing," he says, "was like living in a Magritte painting."
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.
Still from ad on Travelers' site.