Have you heard the saying, “When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think ‘zebras’?” It’s a weird one, but it means the simplest explanation is usually the best one. Our brains are wired to look for complicated answers to questions, even though they’re rarely correct, or even pleasing. That’s why we love this new ad from Finish so much. It’s so simple that it rounds the corner and ends up smack dab on clever.
Even though it’s 2015, most ads revolving around dishes or other domestic travails focus on women. And even though giving it up for ladies in the kitchen has had major staying power as the obvious home care ad go-to, we don’t find it simple, we find it rude. And worse, it’s lazy. Letting dishes pile up in the sink is not a gendered action. Plenty of men and women have wandered through the kitchen and sighed at the intimidating porcelain and glass sculpture of that week’s meals.
So this ad. This ad is great because it solves the issue of the prevailing sexist point of view with something so simple and wonderful: The point of view of the glass. We follow the kaleidoscoped lifetime of a simple pint glass- the many twists and turns as its used to capture spiders, aid a hangover, moonlight as a bowl, and even hydrate. The tag is a little lackluster “Keep your glasses shiny,” advises a British voiceover, which, yeah, of course we’d like to do. (The tag in another wonderful ad for this campaign packs a little more punch, promising cleanliness for “Every dish, everytime.”) But the connection- and even gratefulness- the viewer feels as they think about the things they’ve put their own glasses through is powerful.
This ad serves a great reminder to pull back from creative problems and open up to the simplest solution. They might have the fanciest look in the mammal kingdom, but we need to look for horses, not zebras.