Selling Wood

Some might suggest that the emotional appeal of 2×4 is generally thought to be somewhat limited, unless you’re a lumber trader, who has been known to fall in love with a truckload order from time to time.

But developing ads for the consumer market of industrial products no doubt poses creative challenges. Dimension lumber or plywood doesn’t lend itself readily to poetry. Beyond rhymes of “Plywood, plywood on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” there’s not a lot of published lumber-related light verse. Although when the U.S. celebrated Arbor Day in April there were many derivations of Joyce Kilmer’s famous “Trees” poem that came to light in lines such as: “I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree.”  It does seem though that once the tree has been through the mill, questions about rendering the finished wood product fit for a TV ad is something quite different.

So it was especially fun to see a new ad campaign for wood products profiled in today’s Ad of the Day at Adweek. The set of four “deadpan gags”, for California-based Humboldt Redwood, stars a talking redwood puppet named Timothy McTimber. His ventriloquist is a builder. Together, they admire the various redwood features of a home – a wall, a deck, a post and a beam. “It only makes sense that the spokesperson for a redwood company would be a talking plank, and boring in the best way possible,” writes Gabriel Beltrone in his five-star review at Adweek. “The voice actor, comedian Ross Brockley, gets outsize credit for his on-point delivery.” These 30-second commercials are hilarious!

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