First, I would like to apologize for going this long without a blog post. It would be easy to just blame the advertising industry and say that in the last few months nothing has captivated my interest, and that no ad is worthy of acknowledgement and appreciation. However, that is not the case. Commercials are as entertaining as ever. Print ads are aesthetically pleasing and even more beautifully designed than before. Radio ads still make me laugh and distract me enough to forget about the standstill traffic and psycho drivers out on the road.
And so, to restart the engine and get things going again, I thought I would showcase a few commercial spots that are sequels to previous ads that I have featured and acknowledged. While the original was enough to get me laughing or “oooh-ing” and “ahh-ing”, these sequels are perhaps even better because its continuation of the communication strategy and approach will remind a viewer of what they loved previously about the brand.
This little piggy who cries “wee” made a huge hit with my friends and I about a year ago. Now back in the spotlight, Marshall (the pig) continues to entertain and reminds us of how much we laughed before. Let’s just say this pig knows how to make the most of life.
Travelers Insurance hit a home run in my play book by introducing this darling mutt as the star of their commercials. What is quite brilliant about their advertising campaign is that this dog could be placed in many different life scenarios to present the message that whatever life throws at you, you will be covered. Not only did they create a sequel, but they were able to come up with a series of many life situations for this pup that make me melt every time. Here is my favorite addition:
A while ago, I decided to ask via Twitter for suggestions of great advertising. I got a few responses, but these two were my favorite. Very different in attitude, very different in product, both standing out as motivational and eye catching.
First, this commercial for Pedigree shows victory in slow motion for a wide range of dogs. I wish I could explain it through words, but this fascinating commercial can only reach the core of you through viewing pleasure. Take a look:
Second, this commercial for Jim Beam provides a dramatic and serious tone coupled with a narrative of images that bring light the importance of the choices made in life. By offering parallels of who you are and who you could be, the story provides an insight into the importance of making the bold choice. Here it is:
Thanks Twitter followers for your advice and contribution!
I ran across the new AT&T commercial the other day and was surprised that a cell phone commercial could evoke a sweet sense of happiness and beauty. I am so used to seeing cell phone commercials about better coverage compared to competition. Maps are shown with red dots outdoing blue dots or speedy T-mobile girl arrives in her crotch rocket before the competition in his scooter. I will say that there have been some entertaining and creative cell phone commercials in the past, but this commercial generates a new mood that this product/service isn’t normally associated with. Instead of dots on a map, flowers bloom and vines reach across the city creating something beautiful.
So it may be kind of corny, but it’s different and I like it. Coverage really is a beautiful thing.
35$ for 70$ worth of salon or spa treatment at The Spa at 22 Changes.
$59 for $120 worth for a Holistic Rejuvenation facial at Jennifer’s Spa.
What do all of these have in common? They are all great deals from Groupon that I purchased for my family members (and one for myself) as Christmas presents this year. I am obsessed.
I finally had time during winter break to check out what the buzz of this social online coupon site was about and sign up. Right away, I was intrigued, interested and glowing with excitement of affordable deals. A college student I am and no flowing income to come by, so when I finally found an online coupon book overflowing with restaurant deals, out of the box activities, fun date ideas, spa specials and a wide array of discounts on practically anything, I hate to say it, but I fell in love. Discounts of 50% off or more was outrageous to me and even more, the new ideas and new spots in town captured my interest.
While this is an advertising blog and Groupon is more of a public relations type move, I think it is very important for companies to consider the new promotional site; whether, contributing to a deal or just advertising on the site. It would be a smart move for any company to get involved with Groupon because of its growing popularity and innovative funk. Groupon is cool (at least to me) and it’s exciting to see what the new deal of the day is. I can’t wait for the moment everyday where I check my email for both Eugene and Portland’s deal of the day. It is never a necessity for me to buy any of these Groupons, but I definitely ponder its worth for a while and cave in over pure excitement of a new place or activity and a phenomenal deal.
Additionally, Living Social is another online coupon deal site that is worth checking out and rumor has it Google, in response to a decline on an offer to buy the Groupon site, is creating their own version of Groupon called Google Offers.
Another trend that I see in great, funny advertising that captivates my interest and creates buzz around my friends and me is commercials advertising candy brands. For many candy brands, they have developed an advertising campaign that is out of the ordinary and very creative. Three candy brands that have created really entertaining advertisements are Skittles, Snickers and Sour Patch Kids.
Skittles is known for their colorful advertising and creative, tasteful campaigns. These commercials that I have highlighted below have created a lot of buzz because of thier wacko and weird plots. These hilaroius advertisements are anything but subtle and are so out their and random that they draw attention from anyone near the TV. You can’t help it but watch, wonder what is going on and laugh at the crazy idea and randomness of the commercial. These ads may not completely correlate with Skittles candy but they create a hilarous, fun and creative tone that transcends to the brand. Oh Skittles.. do you make me laugh.
Sheep boy commercial: Blend the Rainbow .. Taste the Rainbow.
Fizz the Rainbow .. Taste the Rainbow.. Hit me again Tubesock
Treasure the Rainbow.. Tase the Rainbow.. Singing Bunny Switch
These commercials put substitute personalities in for people who are hungry to visually show how Snickers can satisfy enough to bring you back to your real self. These ads draw attention because the substitution characters clearly do not belong and stick out like a sore thumb. They are funny, creative and visually explain how the product can benefit you and satisfy your hunger. They did a great job at creating situations and characters that draw attention and make you take a second look.
Sour Patch Kids have had continuously funny commercials with the Sour Patch gummy coming to life and acting first sour, then sweet. They are silly, fun and colorful which represents the attitude of the brand. They show the intense flavors of the candy being so sour its shocky and then being so sweet and cute you just want to hug him and forgive him for anything. Sour Patch Kids have done well to relate these character’s actions to what the candy offers in a to the point message in a fun, colorful atmosphere.
I have started to realize a general theme with some great advertising campaigns and commercials that I have seen. Suprisingly, I found that many advertisments that have captured my interest and have me laughing or “aw”ing have been for insurance companies. These are the big ones I have noticed:
Nationwide has done really well at differentiating themselves among competition. Their ad campaigns have been creative, out of the box and strategic, and because of that they have succeeded in having their advertising stick out and resonate well with most every audience. They have done more than educate about insurance rates, but have made an emotional and sometimes humorous connection with the audience.
In 2007 they capitalized on social media to maximize the return on their super bowl ad investment. Before the ads even appeared at the Super Bowl, they appealed to influencers and connectors by making the ad available prior to its premiere, they aggressively promoted the ad on the brand website, made the ad easy to search through the brand search engine, provided send to friend links on the website, provided on the brand website extra features and scenes related to the ad, leaked the video to video distribution sites, posted teaser versions on Youtube prior to the game.
By doing this they created such a pregame buzz and anticipation to its premiere that the commercial finished first among all super bowl spots in creating the most buzz. The spot accounted for 49% of all online conversations about the Super Bowl ads in one particular day! Nationwide got creative using Kevin Federline as the spokesperson in the commercial. Since most everyone heard about his recent crazy experiences in his relationship with Britney Spears, they were able to connect all the publicity surrounding the star with the insurance companies theme of “Life comes at you fast, a nationwide annuity could guarantee you income for life.” It was a success!
But what I think is the coolest and most creative idea that Nationwide has done was the creation of lifecomesatyoufast.com providing the chance for anyone to share their story and display it in Times Square. They allowed for people to submit their moment online and then were given an exact time that their video would be projected on the screen in Times Square. Everyone walking by would see all the personal and real life moments ranging from proposals to confessions. Not only was this a big billboard display of Nationwide Insurance, but it connected the company with real people and real stories that associate a purpose and meaning to the brand.
By doing this they created such a pregame buzz and anticipation to its premiere that the commercial finished first among all super bowl spots in creating the most buzz. The spot accounted for 49% of all online conversations about the Super Bowl ads in one particular day! Nationwide got creative using Kevin Federline as the spokesperson in the commercial. Since most everyone heard about his recent crazy experiences in his relationship with Britney Spears, they were able to connect all the publicity surrounding the star with the insurance companies theme of “Life comes at you fast, so sell annuities that could guarantee you income for life.” It was a success!
Geico receives a lot of praise and tips off old the hat for their creative execution in their advertising campaign. Whether it is the gecko or the caveman spokesperson, or the “Could switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?” quote followed by some ridiculous display that obviously answers the question “yes,” they have made their commercials stick out like a sore thumb (in a great way). They create buzz, they make people laugh and even though most the commercial has nothing to do with the company, it makes you remember the name and they become top of the mind.
Nationwide and Geico have done really well in their advertising campaigns for years that their name is out there and whether or not their commercials have anything to do with insurance; they are memorable and stand out. They draw interest, they capture attention and they are entertaining. They either make a strong emotional connection, or they are humorous and engaging.
However, one insurance company, that I didn’t hear or see much before, is starting to grab my attention through their recent advertisements. Travelers Insurance’s new advertising campaign about taking the scary out of life has captivated my interest with their humor, festive happy tone, and overall sweet emotional connection that creates a sense of ease. They do a great job at connecting the commercial’s story with what the company has to offer.
When I think of traditional advertising, I think of a message that’s out there saying here is a great product, its better than its competition product B and if you don’t go get it now, you may miss your chance. Then most likely product B will come out with a new campaign claiming how its better than its competition, referring to product A, and it will be a never ending battle between the two claiming that they are always better than the other.
However, the type of advertising that I love and affects me are those that stand for something bigger than itself and does more than just sell a product. Throughout the years, social issues and problems have been such a strong topic of debate and worry that they have driven so many people to change their lifestyle or do what they can to help. That is why advertising for a product has become very effective when it is linked to a social issue. Not only is the advertisement bringing into light and trying to affect social change, but they are pairing a product with this change and providing an avenue for everyday people to improve the world through purchasing this product.
Whether this product or service being sold actually relates to the social cause or improves upon the world at all, the association with the message leads people to believe that they are do good by purchasing it. That is why it is very strong for a company to find a social cause that relates most heavily with their product or one that they can associate strongly with. These products then become the way for you and I to feel that we are improving and helping the world. Instead of buying a product that has no association with positive change, we can buy a product that at least has the desire and motive to do good and may influence us to do so as well.
Then there are those advertisements that are advertising for a social cause. Most of these that I seem to run into are related to animal cruelty or global warming and the drastic images that are portrayed can be so vulgar and shocking that it makes you think twice about everyday life choices. These have done really well at making a statement and have been very effective with me and my peers by merely using a shock effect. Sometimes, all it takes is a vulgar, drastic image to impact social change and these advertisements are well on their way to making a huge difference.
While there is much debate on whether the college student or young adult really cares about products and brands that are environmentally responsible, what I have come to realize and from what I understand, as a college student and a young adult, they do. People, I hope all people, generally care about making their world a better place. And while we should all do what we can to improve our carbon footprint and be more sustainable in our lives and practices, people are going to continue to do what is convenient for them. Now, that probably rules out taking a scooter to work when you have 30 miles to go or refusing to buy bottled water when you’re at an outdoor event in 90 degree weather, but when two similar products are being advertised and only one indicates that it is better and healthier for the environment, which one are you going to pick? The greener one of course.
Why does it matter to a consumer to choose the one product that is said to be more environmentally responsible with its business practices or production? Because it makes them feel like they are also being environmentally responsible. Picking a “good,” “green” brand translates to making “good” and “green” decisions.
No longer are these consumers who choose the green option “tree huggers” or “crazy environmentalists.” They are normal people making good choices. The scary images of global warming, extinction of animals and landfills filling up the seas aren’t just crazy conspiracy’s anymore, but are becoming the fear of reality that many people are beginning to understand. That is why it is smart, very smart for brands to join in the effort in reducing their carbon footprint and take environmental responsibility seriously.
It is even smarter to advertise about these efforts. However, much of the mistake that company’s have made through their advertising effort is greenwashing. Greenwashing, basically, is when a company advertises and preaches about its great sustainability and environmental responsibility, when in truth they are still causing more harm than good through their production efforts, manufacturing or distribution. When a company is truly green in its business practices and is transparent in their actions, then when they advertise, they will be a leader among brands and chosen among competition for their responsibility and positive change.
Here are some affective green advertising examples:
Animals are used quite often in advertising and are very effective. They make an instant emotional connection with us as they remind us of ourselves and our pets. They offer warm relationships and empathy internationally. Animals in advertising offer a huge advantage because they can appeal to all people unlike a particular ethnicity or demographic of humans. They are a great way to surround a brand with positive emotions and associations other than how much a product costs. Additionally, they evoke many different emotions in the viewer and can impact people to start making positive choices in their life.
Each animal that is used in an ad stands for something and is associated with a particular message that relates to that animal’s stereotype. Bears are used because of their expressive face and ability to act nearly human.
Elephants provide contrast with large and small and can stand for escape, adventure and discovery.
Cats emphasize luxury as they lay around all day in a safe, warm home environment, or they associate with hunting, night vision, and their bigger and more dangerous relatives.
Fish usually stand for something valuable missing, freedom, improvement and the future. And sharks… sharks pose an obvious danger, risk, threat and an unpleasant surprise.
And then there is my personal favorite, an animal that always captivates my attention and turns my heart into mush… puppies! Dogs are used often in advertising because they represent loyalty and a man’s best friend.
They have a way of representing a valid member of your family more than any other pet. Often pleasing your dog, weighs the same as pleasing the most important people in your life. Because of their continuous love and passion for people, most people feel sympathy and compassion for them. I find it impossible to dislike any advertisement that has a puppy associating with a product. It is just too hard to resist.
Using animals is affective because it is easy to evoke humor and bring attention to the ad. Often when advertisements put animals in place of where humans normally would be, it brings a new humor to the ad. Most people also can relate to the humor of the animal because they have seen their own pets or others in similar hilarious situations. Additionally, using animals as spokespeople helps the brand develop an identity. They may be just as powerful as a spokesperson, but you don’t have to pay them as much!
Along with much of the American public, I have felt a constant bombardment of advertisements in television, radio, magazines, newspaper…. the works. Since an early age, I have trained myself to believe that advertising is annoying, frustrating and purely a waste of time. The reason is because most of what I view as advertising is exactly those three words. I have seen the same type of advertisement for years and years, the type that screams through the television how great a product is and how you need to buy now now now! Then, there is the constant battle between competitors testing and proving why their product is in fact better and then watching for that rebuttal commercial a couple months later that proves the first accusation wrong. It is annoying and if a brand really wants to attract the consumer and keep their product top of the mind in the market, then they need to use a new strategy.
Some of the best advertisements out there, are the ones that aren’t seen as such. These advertisements are placed in a way that does not interrupt the audience and their media but draws attention and curiosity so the consumer actively chooses to look. With this strategy, the consumer no longer resents the brand for interrupting their program but draws a positive association for their creativity, out of the box thinking and strategic placement. When the consumer isn’t looking for media and entertainment, they get it through the advertisement and so the brand itself becomes fun, cool and fresh.
For most of these advertisements, they are presented in an outdoor medium that connects strongly with the product being sold. It leads to a purchase now, or go there now kind of message and in turn creates an impulse buyer leading to better results.
Here are some more examples: