The last message evaluation of the semester should be left on a good note, so I am choosing to evaluate a Snickers® advertisement. Who doesn’t love a delicious Snickers? The ad is entitled “Coach” and depicts a football coach in a tough position. Players run to their coach and one asks “Fourth down, Coach. What do we do?” to get Robin Williams in a Hawaiian tourist shirt responding with “I’ll tell you what we will do. I want you to go on the field; look for anything with an O [pointing at the playbook]” Robin Williams continues by saying “Let’s kill ‘em… with kindness. Jimmy, I want you to make balloon animals. Tyler, make little tea cozies; something fun.” One of Robin’s players asks if he is okay. He vivaciously laughs and chants for “Mother Russia!” His assistant coach urges him to eat a Snickers® bar he conveniently has during their football game. When Robin asks him “Why?” and he responds “You get a little loopy when you’re hungry” Robin eats the Snickers® and the assistant coach asks him “Better?” At this point, Robin is now a large black man wearing school attire and responds “Better… Now let’s go for it!” and everyone cheers and runs away. As the camera pans out, there is an odd sight; a long haired, middle aged man in a leather coat atop the cheerleaders’ pyramid. That man proceeds to face dive into the turf as a dismount from the top of the pyramid. With bits of the turf stuck to his face Bobcat Goldthwait, the cheerleader, yells “Go get ‘em, guys!” A Snickers® in the making comes on and the narrator tells you “You’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers® satisfies” with matching text overlaying the freshly finished Snickers® candy bar.
In the Simon and Jones text we read for class (Analyzing Product Advertising) they discussed anti-ads. “Coach” is absolutely an anti-ad and uses a few of the styles they discussed. They start with Pseudo Non-Ads (PNA). PNA are meant to depict a realistic situation that is not to be seen as an ad. PNA want the viewer to see the ad as an account of something real that happened (424). The idea is that hunger can strike anywhere; even during the big game. Not only this, but hunger has its consequences. Those consequences could make you screw up the game; or fall off the top of the pyramid your cheerleading team has been practicing for weeks. The aspect that makes this part of the anti-ads is the exaggeration and the fact that you cannot become Robin Williams through hunger alone. You certainly will not act in the ridiculous way Robin Williams hunger pangs drove him to.
They talk about Code Transgressing Ads (CTA) next. These ads start with a traditional code and then break that code (425). This ad applies to this in that it appeals to a ‘code’ traditional ads try to appeal to: realistic situations. The idea that the problem may arise anywhere at any time is that situation. The difference is during the big game you typically power through it and get some grub when you can. Typically, people do not go bat shit insane and talk nonsense over a little hunger. Following that difference the problem is solved with a candy bar that is nothing short of delicious.
The last style of anti-ads this commercial uses is Self-Parody Ads (SPA). SPA gives attention to a person, usually of some celebrity importance or social value (actors, comedians, musicians, etc.), and that person twists the typical message for a funny appeal (427). Robin Williams and Bobcat Goldthwait are those people to help give the twisted message. Robin Williams shows that hunger has detrimental effects to your current psyche and responsibility until you eat a tasty candy bar to balance out your brain chemicals. Bobcat simply shows that being off your game can be detrimental to your well-being. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone having too good of a night after a face plant from any height.
Simon and Jones say that anti-ads are typically “heavy on faux-irrelevant irony and light on substance” (428). I think this ad does a good job of being an anti-ad but straying from this stereotype. It uses 3 of the 5 styles of anti-ads yet still lets the viewer know the candy bar is filling and delectable. Even in the faux environment and over exaggerated effects a useful advertising message was still delivered. They also say that anti-ads typically appeal to the common thought “Aren’t advertisements stupid?” (428). This advertisement does not, in my opinion, appeal to this stereotype either. It uses comedy and irony of a common situation to effectively deliver a message that may stick with people. They end the commercial with “Snickers® Satisfies”. It is simple and to the point, yet still effective.
Personally, I love the ad. I think it is very funny and does a good job at making a memorable impression. The random humor of Robin Williams in this ad is what makes the commercial funny. There is not much that could have been done to make this commercial better. The contrast between Robin Williams and the actual football coach was a great distinction of non-hungry to hungry. Seeing that this is the last message eval for the semester I think I will go celebrate with a delicious Snickers®