Monday, March 28, 2011

In a perfect world...

This past week I've been searching for an ad that I think is done poorly. The most significant theme I found within ads that I deemed to be unworthy of airtime were ones that involved sub-par acting.
At first I thought of that obnoxious "I'm going to school in my pajamas" commercial, but then I thought no--too obvious. All of those low-budget infomercial type ads are likely to be terrible. Especially local ones.
So I dug deeper.
I saw an ad during the BYU game when I watched it online streaming live from TBS. It was for the Motorola Xoom tablet. And it was really bad. But I couldn't find it anywhere when I looked for it later.
So I racked my brain for the commercials that make me want to throw my over-sized remote at the TV every time they come on.
And I thought of this man:

The horribly annoying State Eddie Matos.
I thought that maybe I was alone in my fuming hatred for this man and his commercials, but then I found articles like this one, and noticed that on the youtube videos featuring him there were about 90% dislikes and 10% likes for each one.
I don't know what it is about this spokesperson that gets under everyone's skin. Is it his teenager-in-the-90s hairstyle? His cocky, smiley demeanor? His racial ambiguity? His eerie resemblance to Tom Cruise?
I'm not quite sure. But there is definitely something about him that strikes an off chord with the public.
In his commercials, Matos is filmed in very casual, everyday settings. Like this coffee shop scene:

(Notice the man's face outside the shop at the beginning, haha)
I can understand the appeal that State Farm was looking for when they started this campaign. They found what they thought to be an average looking guy who could state facts about their company in a friendly, confidant way. They put him in the middle of urban scenes surrounded by "normal people" going about their business. I can imagine the vision State Farm had for it all. They hoped to send a message that State Farm is made up of friendly, normal, relate-able people that are easily accessible and quite literally, your "neighbors".
They did not however, anticipate the unfriendly, bizarre, and distant vibes that Matos would exude in his scenes. Instead of making the audience feel comfortable, he manages to isolate them by not making eye contact with anyone around him, and giving the overall experience a very staged feel.
If I could rescue this campaign I think I would start with either replacing Matos, or exposing the public's distaste for him.
State Farm has evidenced their sense of humor with their new "magic jingle" campaign.
Perhaps they could "kill off" Matos's character in an obviously comical commercial.
(Excuse my stolen graphics from the rage comics guy)
Say we start off with a Matos look-a-like (by this time the real Matos has been fired, and there's no way he would agree to filming his own death sentence). This doppleganger is obnoxiously stealing lines from one of his "agents" like he does in that one commercial:

In the next frame, all the agents from past commercials gather around fake-Matos wielding bats and other threatening objects, giving him the stink-eye:

Next, there is a close up of one of the agents saying the jingle to fake-Matos:

And then, simply, the next frame is of all the agents standing around happily as they pitch their information about State Farm:

So there is my brilliant idea on how to right the wrong that is Eddie Matos. If it seems a bit extreme, we could always just have him throw on a snuggie and some pajama jeans and I'm sure his likeability would increase tenfold...
(Or maybe they should just stop running his commercials and stick with those funny ones where Bob Barker shows up.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

"I can help you compose a tweet...if you like...?"

Lately I've been thinking about writing a screenplay for a smash hit movie.
I was thinking about the way in which my characters would converse and get to know each other. I want two people to fall in love--obviously-->

And I want the movie to be realistic to some extent. Like relate-able to the world right now...

But guess what.
The way people interact and get to know each other most of the time these days is through texting and facebook. Like how do people make new romantic comedies without facebook?! That's just not real life for this generation...
Of course I wouldn't want to write all that social media into my movie. It would be so cliche and boooring. Right?

Which got me to thinking about advertising.
It is very clear that advertisers now have to communicate using a huge number of resources. Facebook, aps, twitter, television, internet television, youtube, radio, billboards, website banners, ETC.
But does using all of these social media and cluttered technology as an actual subject in ads take away from the credibility of them, the way that it might in the use of films?
When used with humor, integration of social media into the subject of ads seems to be successful. Like this one:

Makes me laugh every time. Or maybe this one:

Also pretty funny. But these ads are both related to cell phones...
Does discussion of social media have a place in ads otherwise? Like an ad for oreos or a furniture store...?
I think I'm rambling now and confusing myself.
It's just so strange to think about social media becoming such a big part of our lives and society that they are now normal parts of our everyday conversation.

I would think that a really truly effective ad would be able to convey its message without discussing aps, or robots, or facebooks, or tumblers. A really great ad stands the test of time.
Coke time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

All kinds of crazy.

Ads have to be created creatively. Thus, there are certain delivery techniques that can be used. Here are two of them:

1. Demonstration:
Almost every acne cleansing face wash commercial uses the demonstration method. How many times have you been grossed out by watching the liquid rush into a pore full of mysterious green and brown substances...? Too many times. But certain campaigns need demonstration in order for their product to be convincing and to sell.
Another good example of this strategy is in dental hygiene advertising. Take this whitening commercial for example:

It's attractive because it shows the viewer not only how to use the product, but the results that come with its use.

2. Slice of Life:
Initially I thought of the Celtrixa commercial that is currently on TV. "Girl, don't get all offended, but what happened to your stretch marks?!" Unfortunately this ad is not to be found on the internet as far as I can tell...
In this structure people discuss their problems and then the product is introduced. This is pretty much the formula for every infomercial. Also all those life insurance commercials where a loved one is convincing another loved one to try this new life insurance. I feel like this style of advertising is being used much less now than it once was. Consumers don't seem to buy into the staged feeling that these ads give. Here's a slice of life ad that actually uses two perspectives:

It is more effective because not only do we see the subjects discussing the problem amongst themselves, they also didactically address the audience in an interview setting.

In conclusion...

Friday, February 25, 2011

That's a lot of nuts!

Last night I saw this commercial:

(Except the version I saw ended with "Cabin fever" and someone putting a do-not-disturb sign on their hotel door.)

So I had seem this commercial before, but I never paid much attention to it. This time I caught on to the cleverness of it all and it blew me away.
Me: "That commercial was so great!"
Roommate: "What? Why?"
Me: "Didn't you see it? They said things that people hate about winter, but showed stuff that's good because they're actually on vacation!"
Roommate: "Oh...really?"
Me: "'s really clever"
Roommate remains un-phased and carries on with her facebook stalking.

Since I've been in this advertising class I just analyze everrryything. My roommates really love watching TV with me now because after every other commercial I will say something like "Wow, they need a new ad campaign." or "That was a great ad!" etc.
I just can't help it!
I kind of love rhetorical analysis.
Sometimes...I open my book about rhetoric from AP English junior year of high school and just read parts of it. Because it's like a really really good book.

While I was taking that AP class I kind of stalked the author, because he had such an entertaining voice in his writing. So I found his website, or blog or something and saw that there was a comment board. I asked him about his book and for advice on an assignment in class and he totally responded. It was the best day of my life (August 17th, 2007) and the closest brush with fame I've ever had (besides when Elder Holland called BYU info and I found out about it the next day at work).
Needless to say, I'm pretty into the art of persuasion. (JUST ASK ALL THE FELLAS LOL JK). Which makes me inclined to this study of advertising.

Maybe someday I will become a great rhetorician.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Calm it down.

It seems that advertisers often feel like they need to go to extremes in order to rise above the clutter. But that mentality can lead to some controversial advertising.

Take this american apparel ad for example:

It features a former porn star in suggestive poses, just to model socks. I've noticed that American Apparel has had many suggestive ads in the past. It seems like they focus on sex as their main selling point. It is true, as they say, that sex sells, but to have that as your only way of advertising a product just seems cheap. It becomes ineffective when any selling point is overused and used distastefully. This sock ad makes the audience more interested in googling a porn star than in buying their product. (Although it's possible that the blunt association with sex puts the product in mind subliminally. Ex: The viewer might be passing an American Apparel in the mall and end up going inside, subconsciously hoping to find a naked chick just chillin...?) Either that go too far with sex are sketchy.

Then there are advertisements that believe in using complete exaggeration to sell their product. For example:

Almost every mascara commercial is guilty of puffery in their ads. 300% more volume? Really? And they film the brushes from an upward macro angle to make them look gigantic. And the models are wearing fake eyelashes so of course they look huge! Makeup ads rely on exaggeration. And to be honest, it usually works. Women want to believe that their eyelashes will look like they're going to stab someone if they get too close. Or that if they wear a certain mascara they will suddenly own more stylish clothing and feel prettier. Some women are thrifty and wise and find one line of makeup and stick with it, and are no longer fooled by hyperbolicious ads. But for the rest of us out there...Keep dancing around in that tuxedo vest, Drew Barrymore.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Also...This is the best Ad ever...

This one's for all the Suckers

Here's the thing about advertising. It really effective. I believe in its power, y'all.
There are so many campaigns that I have become seriously attached to. One example is Jif:

Honestly, growing up, I felt less special when my mom didn't buy Jif because of commercials like that. And now that I'm on my own, it's the only peanut butter I buy. Not only does it taste delicious, but the brand has been so imprinted into my brain that I've developed a loyalty to it.

I kind of get a little crazy with brands actually... For example: Last week I spent 100 dollars on groceries. Just food. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. I walked down the isles of the grocery store and purposely chose items that were more expensive, because I am under the delusion that brand names are always better.
Would things be different if I hadn't grown up in a world bombarded by advertisements at every turn? Would I still choose Tostinos scoop chips over the $2 bargain bag of generic chips? Would I still spend $8 on a small can of Slim Fast mix, rather than a much cheaper store brand? WOULD I STILL BUY A $10 BOTTLE OF VITAMIN D INSTEAD OF A $3 BOTTLE OF UNCOATED GENERIC BRAND?

The world may never know...
At least it hasn't come to this yet...
(This video looks suggestive from the thumbnail but it's not, I promise.)

There seems to be a fine line between buying into smart advertising, and falling for everything you see/hear. Advertising can be great, and it can be dangerous. Just don't fall for
I did my taxes with Cash 4 Gold last year and didn't see a PENNY.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do you love it? I love it.

Well here I am writing my very first blog post related to my current enrollment in my intro to advertising class. I've always thought about advertising as a career for me. I don't know if I've ever taken the thought seriously, but I've definitely dreamed of writing jingles or coming up with creative storyboards...
Don't you just love coming up with great ideas? It's the best feeling in the world. I'm sure the guys that came up with the "I'm on a horse" Old Spice commercial feel pretty amazing. Obv.
I love a good commercial and I love the creative geniuses behind them. I'm excited to learn more about this "art form" if you will.
The thing about advertising: it stays with you. For example, my sister swears on her grave that she once saw an infomercial for "fart pads" and even though extensive searching on the internet says that they doesn't exist, she will always defend it.
Or commercials that air for a few days and then promptly get shut down by the FCC (see example below)

I'll never forget that one. And how they changed it to "You bet IF it's aspercream..."
And then there are the really well made ads that just blow your mind, or the ones that make you cry...
Hey, I want to be that person! I want to make people laugh or cry or say "Did that really just happen?"
I want to plant unforgettable ads into people's brains. I also want to be the next American Idol...
We'll see if either of those realities come to be.

Is the best.