Grant McCracken pits the AT&T iPhone ads against the Claritin Clear ads in what he describes as the "war for the soul of advertising."

There are two very different types of TV commercials, the ones that get painfully straight to the point and the ones that weave their advertising into a story we can relate to. In an article at The Harvard Business Review, Grant McCracken pits the AT&T iPhone ads against the Claritin Clear ads in what he describes as the “war for the soul of advertising.”

The AT&T ads give us something recognizably human: a guy who forgets his anniversary, one friend besting another. The Claritin ad gives us the opposite. These people are not really people at all, but sandwich boards designed to communicate the USP, the unique selling proposition.

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