Some of you are probably sitting here wondering what a Rube Goldberg Machine is and what does it have to do with advertising, right? Well Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist who would draw extremely complicated machines designed to do a simple task. These machines eventually adopted his name and while you can see some great ones on YouTube, the best by far are the ones produced by advertisers. We don’t see this done all that often in advertising, but when it does it is always a showstopper.
One of the more recent ads that come to mind when you try to envision what this would look like is Ok go’s Chevy Sonic commercial. If you look at the 16 million views it has gotten since it was put up on YouTube on the fifth, it’s safe to assume that people liked it. OK go also did another awesome Rube Goldberg machine for State Farm a few years back which was equally impressive.
I love these kinds of advertisements because it takes a step away from all the fancy digital tricks and really forces people to think of something creative in an extremely limited space. While it would be hard to fit these into the traditional 30 second advertising slots, there is definitely something magical when an ad agency and a Rube Goldberg Machine come together. Here is one from Japan that is less complicated than Ok go’s project, but still definitely has a wow factor you can’t get from digital productions.