When people ask me if I’ve watched a recent TV show or movie I will typically fess up and tell them “no”. I’ll go on to explain that I’m often too busy to watch most TV programming. But honestly that’s only half true. Many times these shows require you to watch them regularly or you’ll miss a lot of the story line. That type of TV programming is fine for some but it’s not really practical for me since I spend relatively little time in front of “the box”.
Believe it or not I do find something very interesting on TV. Amazingly, it’s television ads.
Here is the 2010 Super Bowl “Snickers” ad with veteran actors Betty White and Abe Vigoda (by BBDO, New York):
Next up: Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man” ad featuring 73 year old actor Jonathan Goldsmith (by Euro RSCG):
Okay, so why do I care about these kind of ads? They’re definitely fun to watch and were designed to entertain us – and keep us watching instead of switching channels. The humorous or offbeat nature of the ad helps to soften our natural resistance as consumers to the “hard sell” for products we may consider purchasing. Of course these ads are created by very savvy advertising and creative pros. They carefully scrutinize our lifestyles, cull pop culture and study what influences and triggers our buying decisions. The culmination of all this insight is neatly packaged in a compact audio and video with a play time of only 30 seconds. I think that’s pretty amazing by any measure.
There are many within the industry who know the creators of this stellar work – either personally or by their reputation. Some of these individuals are elevated to the status of industry “rock stars” for their uncanny skill and ability to craft messages that attract the target audience and motivate them to “buy”. The goal is to get the consumer to desire the product and want to own it, or at least to be associated with it if it is a consumable. This clearly demonstrates that very “hip” or even “niche” products can be successfully marketed to huge multi-generational audiences. (One of the best resources I’ve found to view this advertising work is the AdForum web site).
I’m probably one of the few who think watching TV ads is more fun and more interesting than the actual shows (or events) where they’re viewed. But again, I don’t mind.
So I’ll just conclude by saying: “Stay thirsty, my friends.”