The Wonderful World of Advertisements
Throughout our lifetime, we will be subjected to countless advertisements selling goods and services, food, drink and even drugs.
With so many media forms, sometimes we are even hit with an advertisement when we least expect it. On youtube, you may be ready to watch a monkey drink his own urine (just me?), you press play and get the your video will play after a message from our sponsor. And then you suffer through a 30 second commercial for viagra.
Most of us hate commercials, we record our shows and fast forward through the sales pitches, watching the beautiful people in the cabin go fishing and smile and somehow tie it in to selling coffee in hyper-speed.
Other times we actually look forward to advertisements. During the super bowl, millions of people, many of which are not football fans, sit through the big game only to perk up for the commercials. The next morning, the shows are all discussing the big winners of the commercial sweepstakes
A Perfect World...
I often enjoy the fakeness of advertising. The perfect moments in the perfect setting. Everything is just right in commercials. For example:
A blue sky flashes across the television. A group of great looking people head down to the beach, the day is beautiful, as is everyone else, no fatties here. Perfect smiles are plentiful as the group tosses a Frisbee. Two golden retrievers wag their tales while as they watch their beautiful human counterparts. That evening, there will be a fire, on the beach of course. Perfect couples will sit and laugh as a perfect orange sunset glows in the distance. With the stars in the sky a soothing deep voice comes through the speakers and tells you something that doesn't' make much sense, like So and So lite, Become the Night... I know what I'm drinking next weekend.
This is how products are sold, just like the old ads with the doctor selling cigarettes, no one wants to see reality. How would that look? A few guys with bulging midsections go down to the beach to drink some beers. Over the course of the day, they drink too much, one urinates on the beach before passing out face down in the wet sand. The other harasses the sunbathing college girls.The police come and arrest them for drinking in public. They spend their night missing the perfect sunset because they're locked in the drunk tank until they sober up. I think I'll pass on this beer...
The drug commercials get especially far fetched. Older couples smile at each other as they run through random fields with perfectly cut grass, with that one perfect tree up on the hill. They're having the time of their lives thanks to a drug that is impossible to spell. The music plays as they complete their day with a picnic as a steady stream of side effects scroll below. They show no signs of experiencing loose stools, nausea, erectile dysfunction, suicidal thoughts, homicidal tendencies, bad breath, and stinky feet. At least the migraines are gone!
But once again, if we wanted to see reality we could just go out to Walmart and watch two people that have been married for 20 or thirty years. Somebody find them a field to run through!
Companies will go to great lengths to get us to buy their product over another. And it makes sense, to a certain extent. They can't have someone with meth mouth do a Dentyne commercial. And nobody wants to see Taco Bell's real customers, that wouldn't be good for business.
Sometimes the commercials will backfire. I remember years ago when Pepsi did a Pepsi Points campaign. They would award loyal customers with prizes for collecting points on bottle caps. At the end of one commercial listing all of the prizes,a kid was shown landing a Harrier fighter jet at his school, announcing this would be awarded for some ridiculous amount of points. Sure enough a college kid amassed the ridiculous number of points and investors to claim the jet. Eventually the courts ruled in Pepsi's favor but I'm fairly certain the brains behind that commercial was out of a job.
The Phrase that Pays...
Advertisements work, that's why they're hammered into our heads until we're forced to obey. I have no idea how many times I've walked around singing the Arby's commercial in my head, It's good mood food! It drives me crazy, but it sticks. Subway's eat fresh, Burger King's have it your way, Mcdonald's I'm loving it. You remember and you obey.
Take Xerox for instance. How many people say Let me xerox this! Xerox is a brand that has become simultaneous for making a copy. Clorox and Kleenex as well. Over the years we get branded. Perhaps the most clever of all is the fact that people will pay for a t-shirt that says Nike, basically paying the company to advertise for it, brilliant.
Every day we will be subjected to countless advertisements helping us make a decisions on what to buy. We will be targeted by our race, sex, age, religion, or weight. They have something we want, whether we are aware of it or not. Some advertisements are over the top, others are subtle, some are genius, others are annoying, but either way, when we leave our house and remember the smiling faces and catchy jingles, we will know just what we want to buy.
Links and Sources
- Most Memorable Super Bowl Ads
The Super Bowl is fast approaching and for millions of Americans that means it's almost time to watch the biggest television event of the year. No, not the
- Pepsi Jet Giveaway | Flight Suit : Man Takes Pepsi to Court Over Fighter Jet 'Giveaway' - Los Angele
PepsiCo Inc. thought it was a pretty good joke to pretend it was giving away a Harrier fighter jet as part of its Pepsi Stuff promotion.The company stopped laughing after John D.R. Leonard tried to