AT&T It’s Not Complicated

For the final message evaluation of the year, I chose to use one of the many trending commercials aired by AT&T. These videos take place in what appears to be a kindergarten of some kind. The man usually asks the children questions and they give him outrageous answers like most kids their age would.
In this video, the man asks the kids if they would rather play basketball in a big, fancy stadium or a small driveway. The children raise their hands, and the man calls on a boy who replies, “A big fancy stadium.” When the man asks why, one girl says, “Because you can fit more fans in there.” The man then asks her if she has a lot of fans to which she says, “Yes.” He then asks her if she’s confident in herself to which she confidently acknowledges him. To this he praises her and gives her a high five. Another girl raises her hand, and when the man gives her a high five she says, “No I meant to raise my hand.” The man then says, “Oh,” and proceeds to give another boy a high five. The commercial ends with a voiceover saying, “It’s not complicated. Bigger is better, and AT&T has the largest 4G network.”
Obviously the whole point of this commercial is to try to get people to switch their phone company to AT&T. The way that AT&T goes about this though is very interesting. The company has a man talking to children in what appears to be a kindergarten setting. With the amusing things that these kids say, it makes people think about how cute they are. It reminded me of the old TV show, Kids Say The Darndest Things. In every one of these commercials these children say humorous things which the commercial somehow relates back to something great about either AT&T’s phone service or special things that you can only do with your phone if you have service through them.
I believe that the target audience of these commercials is parents of older children. These parents are probably in their mid to late forties. I believe this to be true because if a parent were to watch a commercial like this, they could reminisce on a time when their child was young and said crazy things like these kids do. This would make them want to get AT&T because their commercials remind the parents of the good old days. Another reason that I believe these commercials are for middle-aged parents is because the commercials talk about how much better AT&T is. These commercials say things along the lines of, AT&T is the only network that allows you to do two things at once on your iPhone 5, and AT&T has the largest 4G network. This could make older parents think, “This Company must be the best.” This is not to say that middle aged parents are ignorant or that they would not research AT&T before switching to them, but the commercials are created to entertain and draw people in, and I think that this is the best group to focus on with this type of commercial.
Another group that this particular commercial of the series could be targeting are basketball fans. This is because the video was aired during the NCAA Tournament and is asking the kids about basketball. It also says something about being sponsored by the NCAA. This shows two things. One is that the NCAA sees promise in these commercials, and also that AT&T thinks that their commercials can pull in basketball lovers as well.
According to our readings, I think that this advertisement is a “Nothing is Better” Ad. This is because the entire ad is stating that your choice is so obvious and simple that you should switch to AT&T without a doubt. They then back up this claim by saying things like they are “The nation’s largest 4G network,” and that they are, “The only network that allows you to do two things on your iPhone 5 at one time.” This can be compared to Verizon’s claim of being “The nation’s fastest 4G network.” In short, AT&T is saying that they are obviously the best because they are faster, larger, and have more options for your iPhone 5 than any other network in the United States.
I think that this commercial does exactly what it was created to do. It is not only entertaining, but it also states what appears to be a fact about their company. Between the cuteness of the kids and the facts that they back up the children’s statements with, AT&T makes themselves seem like a very wise choice when choosing a phone company. I found this advertisement to be very entertaining, and recently switching to AT&T myself recently (for other reasons than these commercials) have found them to be more reliable and significantly better than the company that I had used before this. In conclusion I think that this commercial did exactly what it was supposed to and was very entertaining.

-Travis Wyss

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The little mouse

On this my last and final message evaluation # 5, I have chosen to analyze one of the best TV commercial/ad made in 2010, at least, it was voted one of the best. When writing a commercial, you must make sure your audio and video match (watch toward the end, 0.52 with the song Rocky). AS you will see in this commercial, the writer did a great job matching the audio and the video together. I had never heard of Nolan’s Cheddar Cheese before I saw this ad, after watching it; I wanted to try some right away. This was an effected ad. The ad takes you on a journey about a little mouse that could; after eating some Nolan’s Cheddar Cheese. The main character of the commercial is a little mouse that just came out of his hole in the wall. The ad starts off with a song by the Carpenters, song by Karen, titled ‘Siting on top of the world’. The song is insinuating, that the little mouse life is great, and the mouse is setting on top of the world, because it’s about to eat some Nolan Cheddar Cheese. The point of the commercial is to demonstration to the audience, that if one eats some Nolan Cheddar cheese, they too, can be strong like the little mouse. The product that is being sold is Nolan Cheddar Cheese. This is a product that everyone in the family can eat, for the most part. The audience this product is concentrating on seems to be the whole family, since everybody in the family has a say so in what they want to eat, and for sure the one who is purchasing, or going to the store, to by the food. It appears that that the concept in this advertisement is propaganda. Propaganda has several different descriptions, it can be positive and, or negative. We see propaganda in a lot of ads like, campaign’s, TV coverage, and on the front pages of a newspaper. Systematic is sometimes seen as a way in which to motivate someone or attempt to influence someone to do what you want them to do. The propaganda that’s in this Nolan Cheddar Cheese commercial is their use of exhibiting the artifact that the whole family can eat and how it will make you stronger, after you eat the cheese. This ad could be an example of propaganda be because in this commercial, we all know that eating cheese want make you as strong as this mouse is, and humor is being used.

The commercial then goes on to show the audiences the little mouse eating the Nolan Cheddar Cheese, on the mouse trap, while the song ‘sitting on top of the world is still playing, and then POP!, the ad goes blank. The ad comes back on, and the little mouse is caught, in the mouse trap, with the new song now playing ‘The end’ by the doors. You can see the mouse is still alive; he’s breathing, but not much. . When we think off propaganda another concept that comes from propaganda is the fallacy of authority. The fallacy of authority is a resource of depend on completely the authority of a supporter to persuade a spectators or rival. This fallacy can be seen but not heard by the little mouse. The mouse looks like he knows what he is doing, when it comes to eating the cheese, he starts off on the side of the trap, and then ends up on top of the trap. There’s no question the mouse looks like he’s an authority figure when it comes to eating cheese. The add then shows the mouse weightlifting, after watching the little mouse barley breathing, the song Rocky starts, at the same time you see the little mouse starts working out, lifting the trap, getting a workout, perfect timing for the song Rocky! All of this took place after the little mouse ate some of the Nolan Cheddar Chasse. At the same time the little mouse is weightlifting he is looking at the Nolan Cheddar Cheese. It appears that not only will you be stronger after eating Nolan Cheddar Cheese; you also can be stronger just by looking at the cheese. If one can recall some of the specifics from an ad and if one can’t wait to see it again, that says a whole lot about the persuasion, of the ad. If you go out and tell all your friends about an ad that means it had a lot of persuasion on you. This was a great ad, and it did a wonderful job of persuasion, on me. Imagine if you have that kind of mouse in your house, and if there were a 100 of them, this ad to me, is just too funny. If the mouse can do that, he deserved that cheese. Mighty Mouse, at his best!

Donald E. Archey

Cites

(Marlin).

(Kelsey Kearl,).

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Have You Shipped Your Pants?

For message evaluation five I chose an ad that has become very popular in a short amount of time and is actually causing controversy around the United States. The Kmart commercial “Ship My Pants” is an advertisement which is focused on Kmart products but more specifically on free shipping of Kmart products to your home, and in my opinion one of the funniest commercials ever made. This commercial provides various testimonials of Kmart customers and how easy and convenient it was for them to ship clothes, furniture, and various other products when it was not available to them in stores.
I think that the Ship My Pants ad ties in most closely with the knowing wink ads. The knowing wink ads are defined in the reading as an ad that “communicates directly with the audience in obvious or subtle fashion, breaking through the theatrical “fourth wall” for comic effect”. Knowing wink ads are also said to be ads that make the audience laugh. Well I think that the Kmart Ship my pants ad has all of those components. This ad takes the word ship, which coincidentally sounds a lot like a word that means to relieve a bodily function, and inserts it into phrases about items which could be considered places in which you could accidentally relieve yourself. That is where the knowing wink comes in, the makers of this commercial and the audience knows that this is a play on words and most everyone finds it to be comical. At the end of this commercial the Kmart associate also breaks the “fourth wall” or speaks directly to the audience while looking straight into the camera. He breaks the fourth wall in order to tell the audience that if they cannot find a Kmart product while shopping in the store an associate will help them find it on Kmart’s website and have it shipped directly to your house, which much like relieving yourself in your pants is convenient, fast, and free.
The VALS scale is one that measures a consumer’s Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles and splits up all consumers into eight different categories; the category that I think is the target for this ad would be the Experiencers. The experiencers are the youngest category in the VALS scale with an average age of twenty five; it also says in the reading that they are interested in new products and service which is exactly what Kmart is offering in this advertisement. It is common knowledge that Kmart is not a high end store and because of that we can assume that many of Kmart’s customers are young adults who are trying to get great bargains on products that they may need or want. It is also known that sometimes store run out of products and it can be a hassle for you to either come back another time and check again or try to find it somewhere else. With Kmart’s new service of free shipping to your home you no longer have to worry about the inconvenience of them not having a certain product at the location where you shop because they can simply look up the product that is out of stock and have it shipped to your house for no extra charge. With Experiences being interested in new products and service Kmart’s Ship My pants advertisement could have easily been made for that segment of the VALS scale, because they are offering a new service to customers that shop in stores. This service is going to save the Experiencer more time and because of that he or she will be able to spend their time exercising or at a social activity which are two ways that they enjoy burning off all of their extra energy.
However not everyone finds this commercial comical and a few find it downright offensive, as is with many funny ad that may incorporate a play on words and could be considered inappropriate, there are parents and parent based organizations that want the commercial banned. I do not think that this commercial will be banned or forgotten anytime soon.
I think that this advertisement it very successful, Kmart being an ever dwindling business has gotten more attention in the last few weeks then they have probably gotten in the last year. The humor that this commercial is based on is a great way for advertiser to draw attention to their company and their product. Especially the over the top goofy humor that is evident in this advertisement. This commercial may not be appropriate for children of a certain age but the target audience of this advertisement is not children. The focus audience of this ad can be anywhere from teenagers eighty year old, because a wide variety of people find this kind of joke funny this commercial is marketable to a very wide population. I think that this ad is very persuasive in that in uses humor to draw the consumer’s attention to the company and to the new service provided. Honestly I cannot think of one thing that I would do in order to make this ad more persuasive. I think that the simplicity and humor of this just the right combination for this advertisement and for Kmart as a company.

-Miranda Haifley

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The whispered fight

For my last message evaluation for this class I have chosen an ad for Oreos.  The commercial is advertising their Oreo cookie on Instagram for their chose which side campaign.  The audience for this ad would be those who enjoy the cookie that they are trying to sell, which would be a good majority of people.  In the commercial everyone is in a library when these two guys at a table decide to have an argument of which side of the cookie is better, which everyone in the library decides to fight while whispering, including the firefighters and police, throughout the entire commercial.        

            Before I relate this ad to reading I want to explain what advertising is.  According to Justice Stewart it is “I know it when I see it”, but I prefer the definition of the people in the text “The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities that are intended for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.”  To me it’s just the consumer attempting to convince a person to purchase a product.  Obviously there are numerous ways to persuade a person of an idea but to change their will to buy a product is where advertising comes into play.   

            For this Oreo advertisement I would say that it plays off of the advertising sale of the 1950-1970, which were the narcissism advertisements.  The ads that were done before this period were just said to improve the person or transform them into a better person.  After more research was conducted the advertisement research group noticed that playing off of people’s emotions, Pathos, were more effective than using the logical appeal, logos, to get consumers to buy their product.  The narcissism ads were recognized as using emotions to influence the purchase of the consumers.  The Oreo ad uses the emotion anger in the ad for the people to decide which of the side of the cookie is better.  It makes the consumer give into their curiosity of which is better, and once they decide which they prefer then it is expected that the person is supposed to stand for the side that they have chosen.  Maybe not to the severity of the commercial but it is still a pretty funny controversy if one were to look at it from a grown-up to kid standpoint.  To argue over which side of a cookie seems pretty silly, until the child inside is satisfied with the answer that their chose is the best; which is what I think the Oreo Company was going for.  Then again, this is an age old debate between friends and family of all ages, which brings me to the claim portion of this advertisement.   

               For the claim portion of the text the “we’re better claim” is as close as this ad gets for the hypercommunication section.  The “We’re better claim” are the type of ads that are made to have a comparison without actually completing the comparison.  An incomplete comparison that somehow makes the product better or different than another product that isn’t normally mentioned, but in this ad I would say that the comparison is with them.  The side of the cookie is the best type of cookie to be dipped in milk no doubt, which is what most of their commercials are normally about with their slogan “Milk’s favorite cookie”, but the argument here is which part of the cookie is the better side.  I assume that this is an idea to get the consumer to go out and buy a pack of Oreos just to remember what side they stand for.        

                 I feel a deep urge to obtain an Oreo when I watch the commercial due to the fact that I cannot remember the last time I had an Oreo.  The little kid inside wants to remember what side I stand on and feels like it needs to be reminded every time I see the commercial at all.  To peak the curiosity of the cookie in me seems to be a sign that the advertisement is a good and effective advertisement.  When people think about dipping a cookie into milk they think about Oreos not any other type of cookie unless the persons parents raised them without Oreo’s.  To say that the company has become successful is a major understatement seeing as it is one of the biggest cookie companies in the world, and the name of the company is a huge franchise.  Everyone that has seen the ad during the Super bowl of 2013 have remembered the whispering Oreo ad as one of the best commercials that Super bowl.  So I would say that the commercial advertisement of the whispering Oreo commercial was very effective and nothing, in my opinion, could make the ad more memorable or more compelling.            

-Bryan Saunders

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Toyota RAV4 Wish Granted


Advertisements and commercials for any kind of automobile are known for promoting propaganda that exaggerates and associates unrelated things to the vehicles. They are some of the best examples of false analogy fallacies and I have chosen an ad that represents this fallacy very nicely. For my last message evaluation I picked the commercial for the Toyota RAV4 where a genie, played by a well-known celebrity, Kaley Cuoco, pops out of the SUV and offers to grant wishes. The father wishes for the old spare tire to be gone, referring to his stomach, but the genie gets rid of the spare tire on the back of the Rav4 instead, this wish is the only one that even has to do with the car and it was a joke. The daughter wishes that animals could talk and that she was a princess, the mother wishes that she could eat as much chocolate as she wants, the son wishes that he was an astronaut and then the father wishes for infinite wishes but the genie hears infinite witches, then he asks for his first wish again and he is shown jogging behind the RAV4 with the genie floating on top. Only the exterior of the car is shown except when the car is flown to outer space when the son wishes to be an astronaut but the audience only gets to see the backseat, not the front of the interior of the vehicle. There is also one small flash of the Sirius XM radio in the dashboard but it does not show any interaction with it or how it works.
The analogy is that the RAV4 will make all of your wishes come true, however, we know that there is no such thing as genies, especially ones that pop out of cars. This analogy is false and misleading because it leads the audience to believe that the RAV4 is more than just a car, it is a wish come true and it brings the promise of fulfilling even more wishes. If your wish is to be able to drive and own a RAV4 than this commercial might be persuasive, but if that is not your wish than I think this ad wastes the audience’s attention on fallacies instead of presenting the abilities and features of the car. The commercial is more focused on what the family of actors wants from the genie than what the car can do. This commercial is not very persuasive because it is not relatable and it does not clearly and accurately represent the product. Overall, this advertisement was put on air for the purpose of selling this car but my attention was almost never on the car for the duration of the commercial. I think that the target audience is people and families looking to buy a new car.
I think that the commercial would be a lot more persuasive if it featured special parts or aspects of the car, essentially what makes the RRAV4 different, besides the make-believe genie inside. I would improve the commercial by beginning with the family in an older used car that looks like it has seen a lot of wear and tear. I would have the family out on the town taking a drive and when they drive by a Toyota dealership the genie would pop in to the back seat and offer to start making wishes. Then each member of the family could have made a wish about something that they wanted to improve about the car they were in. As they made the wishes and the genie granted them the car would slowly be transformed in to the RAV4, wish by wish. For example, the kids might want seats that are more comfortable, the mother might want a better stereo system and the father could want more room, and then the genie would magically make new seats, a new dashboard set up complete with the Sirius XM radio and then the entire RAV4 appear. This would allow the audience to get a close look at all of the features of the interior of the car and be entirely focused on the vehicle.
In conclusion, the fact that the commercial used a false analogy to advertise the Toyota RAV4 weakened the persuasiveness of the commercial. I believe that my changes would make the commercial much more persuasive because, although, it is still a false analogy there is a clear connection between the analogy and the vehicle. I think that the main issue with Toyota’s commercial is that they all but ignored the vehicle and instead focused on the celebrity who was portraying the genie. I have found that I am not very persuaded by advertisements that shift the focus of the audience away from the product. Commercials that totally focus on what a product is, what it can do and what sets it apart from the competition are much more persuasive.

Lexi Welborn

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Lose Yourself in Chrysler

The commercial I chose to analyze was one of the top rated commercials from the 2011 Super Bowl. Chrysler for the past few years has shelled out big money to put out 2 minute Super bowl ads, as much as $12 million (http://www.askmen.com/top_10/sports/top-10-2011-super-bowl-commercials_9.html). The real interesting part about these ads however, is that while they’re selling their brand not by talking about their products, but rather appealing to people’s emotions. This ad seems to be targeting lower-middle and lower class individuals. The ad starts by acknowledging the hard times Detroit has been through recently with the auto industry collapse and even indirectly referencing how Detroit has been a “hard-knock” city. However the narrator then starts to play on people’s emotions by stating that “it’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel”. Throughout this intro there are almost cinematic level shots of buildings, statues, and people from Detroit. Here they’re targeting the “common man” by trying to use the down-turn economy as a way to get a large group of diverse people to feel united under the umbrella of adversity. The narrator then starts to criticize the “1%” by talking about how the people who talk about and criticize Detroit don’t know understand true work ethic, or haven’t even been to Detroit. Then the narrator starts the inspiration talk with lines like “when it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for”. He again starts appealing to the lower-middle and lower class by talking about how they aren’t these big fancy cities like New York, Chicago, or Vegas. While he’s talking about all this, the beat for Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is playing in the background while we see Eminem himself driving a Chrysler. This was a genius move from Chrysler, given that Eminem grew up in Detroit and as always been an advocator of the city. The song “Lose Yourself” was one of the most popular songs of the early 2000s, even winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Even those who didn’t follow the rap scene knew about this song about an underdog trying to make it in the world. To anyone who knows the song, and given the demographics they’re targeting my guess is quite a few, this song further pushes the main idea of this advertisement about underdogs. We even discussed in class earlier this semester that we as humans love underdog stories. This ad is appealing to the lower class of Americans in one of the best ways they could.
There is probably a good chance that the makers of this ad used the VALS system to categorize their target audience. The VALS system segments audiences into eight categories based on their personality traits that affect behavior in the marketplace and the amount of resources they have to spend. Based on this system the audience segments they were targeting were Believers, Achievers, and Strivers. Believers have modest incomes who are motivated by ideals and who favor American products and established brands. This ad definitely appeals to them because not only does it push the ideal of hard work and persevering through tough times, but it definitely makes a big point that these cars are made in Detroit, a very American city. Achievers are successful work-oriented people who get their satisfaction from their jobs and families and favor established products and services that show off their success to their peers. This ad appeals to this group in two ways. As with the Believers, the ideal of hard work and perseverance greatly appeals to this group of appeal. This ad also appeals to this group of people because of the brand name itself. Chrysler is a well-known name synonymous with luxury. Throughout the commercial are shots of the new Chrysler and it definitely has a style that almost demands respect from anyone looking at it. The last group this appeals to is the strivers. This group does not make a lot of many but are motivated by achievements. Style is extremely important to them because they constantly strive to emulate people they admire. This ad appeals to this group by the ideal of hard work and perseverance that also appeal to the believers, but also because of the style aspect that appealed to the achievers. This ad overall appeals to all three groups by appealing to the emotional side of people rather than the rational. As the Malefyt article about Marketing Media Through Sensory Modalities said “Perhaps this trend of marketing sensations to consumer sentiments has gained such rapid ascension because it closely accords with Western assumptions of emotional embodiment…..emotions are assumed to represent the site of the true self, a natural product ‘synonymous with the uncorrupted, the pure, the honest, the original’”. By making an appeal to the emotional side of people with this ad, they are more likely to accept and like it because it identifies with the core of who they are, and most people like themselves.
Overall I would say that this advertisement was very successful because it created a general good feeling among the people who watched it and seemed to hit their target audience perfectly. I honestly wouldn’t change anything about this ad. Well maybe make Eminem blink a little less but I’m not sure if that’s possible.

-Alex Youngman-

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Q2 Bracelet by QRay

Modern advertising relies on the consumer for the cheapest and most efficient form of advertising. By posting commercials on digital public forums, like YouTube, companies are able to reach the broadest market available. This era of advertising is described by Simons and Jones as hypercommunication (p. 420) and it takes advantage of customers’ constant contact with the internet.
Just because an ad is playing in front of an audience does not mean that they audience is attending to the message being presented. Performance, balance, vitality, and fashion are the first utterances of the commercial. “Different words have different breadths of meaning, and these differences can be exploited for persuasive purposes” (Marlin Chapter 3). The use of these words immediately grabs the attention of a wide demographic of people and secures the attention of the audience.
This ad is using the methods of a pseudo non-ad by “attempting to downplay or conceal that it is an advertisement by mimicking the codes and conventions associated with non-advertising” (Simons & Jones p. 424). The first “interviewee” exclaims, “You can tell the difference. It’s not a theory. You can feel it!” This man as well as the claims he makes is used as a credible source to the science behind the Q2. The next man states, “I wear it 24/7. I recommend it to everyone!” This leads the audience to think that the product is something worthy of constant wear and by wearing the bracelet you will have something that other’s should be envious of.
“Whatever it does, it works for me”, another “regular guy” states. Leaving the audience to pondering over what the Q2 bracelet does and how it works. The most important concern of advertisers is how to impart credibility (Marlin Chapter 3). The ad immediately transitions to establishing credibility by using “scientific studies” (Simons & Jones p. 431). Saying it is “like acupuncture, yoga, and thai chi”, all things with which the average person is familiar and associates with healthy living and Asian origins. The bracelet is “based on traditional oriental medicine” just as the audience thought. By describing the Q2 bracelet as “oriental” it connects the bracelet with exotic origins. Playing on the intrigue of the audience.
We also see several successful athletes endorsing and wearing them as they are achieving success. This creates the feeling that the audience too can reach new heights if they wear the Q2 by Q-Ray. We can assume through Simons & Jones explanation of product endorsement that the athletes who claim to use the Q2 1) were given the product for free and 2) only used the product only for endorsement purposes (p. 432). The ad claims that you will find top athletes in every sport who are wearing the Q2 bracelet. This creates the false analogy explained by Marlin in which similarity is found between two different events, the wearing of the Q2 bracelet and winning (Chapter 3).In all actuality, you would probably never see this product in use in any other place than this commercial. In the example of Sanya Richards, the bracelet she is wearing when she gives the peace sign to the camera does not resemble the Q2 bracelet and would most likely hurt your wrist if used while running.
The ad also uses visual misdirection (Simons & Jones p. 433) with the image of the body “achieving the state of chi” through “balance of negative and positive energy forces”. Even though there is a disclaimer on the bottom of the screen, the audience still believes that they can gain a physical benefit through the use of this product.
The advertisement also utilizes language manipulation to advance its claims through deleted agent of the passive (Marlin Chapter 3). “It does work.” Can be rephrased to “It works for me” in order to make an accurate statement. This is seen again in the final and most ambiguous clip of a jovial woman exclaiming “It worked.” Yet the scene lacks any context whatsoever. You don’t even see if she’s wearing the Q2. You only can assume something worked somewhere. Was it a highlighter or her husband’s heart transplant? We will never know.
The most memorable line summarizes the benefits and legitimizes its purchase by saying “Its risk free, it looks great, the ladies love it. What have you got to lose?” This creates a sense of a winning situation for every man who was on the fence about this product. It once again creates a sense that others will find you more appealing for using the product. You can have all the benefits at no risk, or so it claims.
This ad employs many different aspect of persuasion and propaganda to try to sell the Q2 bracelet under the idea that it will bring real advantages to anyone’s life. The problem is that it is clearly an infomercial and the public has seen them time and time again. Most have hopefully become wise enough not to fall prey to such concepts, but the fact that this method of obtaining clients was applied to the Q2 means that someone felt like it was still an effective selling tactic. Yet, at the time of this post, the view count was only a little over 11,000 views since 2008. Not a very impressive amount for something intended for selling purposes. More interestingly, this ad was found on a top-10 website naming it the #2 most persuasive ad of all time. This begs the question, was the original list intended merely for selling purposes?

-Crystal Curry

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2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — Extended Version of The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood”


The commercial advertisement I chose to write about is one of the 2013’s Super Bowl commercials. This commercial advertised the popular beer brand Budweiser. This video again aired during the super bowl, and is said to be one of the most popular super bowl commercials for 2013. The audience of this commercial is any football fan watching the super bowl at that time but primarily adult individuals over 21 who are Budweiser drinkers. One could also argue that this commercial touches a number of audiences due to its sensitivity and the love for an animal. This commercial reaches out to a younger audience also because it does show the companionship between man and his pet which is typically found in the younger audience. The storyline of the commercial is very powerful itself and can touch almost any individual who watches it. The commercial itself is about a young male who’s goals are to raise and train his Clydesdale horse to be one of the Budweiser Horses. During the entire commercial the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is playing in the background and is showing the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer. We first see the horse as a new born foal then as the commercial goes on we see it grow as well as its relationship with its trainer. The foal became the mans best friend and as the time came for him to go off and become one of the Budweiser Draft horses, the trainer became sad and lost his best friend. At the end of the commercial we see the foal and his trainer reunite after the trainer comes to see his horse in a parade. The horse recognized him and broke loose and came running after him to reconnect with its best friends. Overall this commercial is a tear jerker as it touches the emotions of the audience. This ad itself differs from any other Budweiser ad for the simple fact that it was not solely based on the alcohol content and in consuming this product but rather focused on the products trade make of its having Clydesdale draft horses as their mascot. In this ad there was alcohol content and consumption but that was not its main focal point, it was more of the storyline of the commercial and the emotional aspect that made this commercial so popular and memorable for the audience.
This commercial can be based on the VALS system. This system has eight different categories dealing with personal motivation and the amount of resources available to the particular audience and it is the study of the changing values and lifestyles of the consumers behaviors. Evaluated by the the VALS system, I feel like the commercial audience can fall into possibly three different categories, the achiever, the strivers, and the makers. According to the text we discuss in class on April 23rd the three are defined as this:
Achievers. These consumers are the high-resource group of those who are motivated by achievement. They are successful work-oriented people who get their satisfaction from their jobs and families. They are politically conservative and respect authority and the status quo. They favor established products and services that show off their success to their peers. Strivers. These consumers are the low-resource group of those who are motivated by achievements. They have values very similar to achievers but have fewer economic, social, and psychological resources. Style is extremely important to them as they strive to emulate people they admire. Makers. These consumers are the low-resource group of those who are motivated by self- expression. They are practical people who value self-sufficiency. They are focused on the familiar-family, work, and physical recreation-and have little interest in the broader world. As consumers, they appreciate practical and functional products.
The audience could be achivers for the simple fact that the storyline of the commercial is that the young trainer wanted to raise and train his foal to be a Budweiser Draft Horse and also because by raising his foal to be a Budweiser horse he would be showing off his success to his peers. It could also fall under the category of being a striver also for the simple fact that his motivation comes from achieving his goal for himself but also for his foal he admires and is raising. With that it could also fall under the maker category for the fact that his goal is to make his foal become a big star to the world and is very practical.
This product was advertised using the pseudo non-ad format of code transgressing. This type of ad demonstrates ways advertisement attempts to gain attention with an audience that “knows better” than to give in to a more traditional advertisement. Code transgressing purpose is to allow the audience to understand what is happening in the ad by them taking their own read on the commercial. This commercial is an example of this for the simple fact that they want the audience to understand the storyline being told on a whole different level by targeting the emotional side of the brand rather than the alcohol consumption part of the brand. It reaches the goal of this type of advertisement by allowing and wanting the audience to understand the message being told but also the advertisement techniques being presented in the commercial.
This commercial itself is very successful because it touches the audience in a different way that most commercials do not. It presents a great storyline and it appeals to its audiences emotions rather then most alcohol beverage commercial do. The combination of the storyline along with the background music, that already has a heart felt feeling towards it, works together perfectly to make the commercial complete. Not all individuals may like the Budweiser product but the commercial itself was a heart touching experience that will make people talk about it because of its storyline and that alone is a huge success for the brand because it allows for people to speak their name and may open up new individuals to want to try their brand.

-Jessica Rodenbeck

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“Expect Amazing, Because it Works”…Eventually

“Expect amazing, because it works”. That is Weight Watchers latest slogan. With a slogan so confident, one would hope they could back their promise. The slew of pictures and video clips this company shows people, just like you and I, doing daily, “human things”, as they called it.

By using the plain folk technique, Weight Watchers spends their whole thirty two second ad trying to convince the audience that they understand. Over the years we have listened to spokeswomen such as Jenny McCarthy, Lynn Redgrave, Jessica Simpson, and currently Jennifer Hudson convince us that they too are just like us; overweight. While this ad specifically showcases the weight loss success of five individuals, four females and one male, the ad is mostly targeted towards female. While yes, they show a diversity of genders and races, the female spokesperson, uplifting background music, and overall appearance, seems more of a female targeted ad.

The testimonial approach is also apparent in this commercial. Even though only Jennifer Hudson is speaking in the thirty two seconds, the man and women s success is shown through text showing their name and how much weight they have lost. Also, throughout the ad there is a clause at the bottom stating “*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Featured Members and Subscribers lost weight on Points Plus and/or prior programs”. This clause leads us to the conclusion that testimonials were used in hopes of persuading the audience that they too, the plain folk, could be just like these plain folks. This ad holds all three of the qualities Marlin warns us to be aware of when viewing propaganda. It clearly is an organized and deliberate attempt to influence, is trying to deceit the viewers into believing in their company, and is based on being a psychological influence.

Due to Weight Watchers being the fastest growing diet program in America, this ad and ads similar have proven effective. Having fallen to the propaganda of this company myself, I can truly say Weight Watchers is a great and effective program. While no, I do not believe Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson understand me personally and my weight struggles, I do believe that they too are human and deal with a daily battle just like the rest of us. However, as a personal insight into this company, I have quickly learned while yes, it is successful and a great support system, it is also a change of psychological behaviors that you are paying great deals of money for them to teach you. Weekly, you can go to a meeting where they discuss meal plans, build strategies to get through the next holiday, celebrate members’ success, and sell you their products. One of the reasons I strayed from this program was because of the last reason. Every week they try to sell you the latest granola bar, chips, or oatmeal. Sometimes they brag about their nifty step counters or calculators. While this ad does a great job of connecting with the audience, it lacks the details as to what it takes to actually be a member. It takes more than just a credit card to pay the monthly fee, more than the upfront cash for signing up, or the purchase of the books that explain the guidelines and system. It is more than sometimes years of dedication. Personally, I tend to believe ads such as Weight Watchers because I have seen the program work and have experienced it for myself. Yet as confident in the program one may be, they always need to have a watchful and critical eye for propaganda such as the ads and products companies just like this are constantly throwing at you.

Kelsey Bates

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Le Trefle: Paper Has a Great Future

This commercial advertises the French brand of toilet paper, Le Trefle. The video was posted on March 7th on YouTube and is extremely popular due to its 4,498,413 views. Because this commercial originally aired in France and because it is advertising a French product, the audience is primarily French adults who would be buying toilet paper for themselves or for their families. However, another aspect of this commercial would be reaching a younger audience in order to show them that technology cannot compensate for every paper product, and in this case, nor would they want it to.
This commercial is compelling due to its simplistic nature. Many toilet paper ads tend to heighten the toilet paper experience by advertising softness, thickness, or luxurious status. This ad chooses to demonstrate the obvious. Le Trefle relies on pointing out that tablets cannot replace toilet paper in this commercial, and they do so in a humorous manner. This technique speaks to specific audience which was taken into account when this commercial was produced. They needed to advertise to people who would be buying toilet paper as well as those who realize they might need to add toilet paper to their shopping list. Advertising a necessity is advantageous because most people agree that you need that product, they just have to be sold on a particular brand. The only leg work to be done is to convince the audience that the brand itself that is being sold is a need as well. The technique used to evaluate the audience type comes from the questionnaires of the VALS system.
In the 1970’s the VALS system was introduced to study the changing values and lifestyles of consumer behavior. There are eight VALS categories that are a combination of sources of personal motivation and the number of resources available to that audience. For this commercial, the audience types evaluated by the VALS system could be fall into two possible categories. The first possibility is the audience called the Makers. This group is described as practical and as people who like practical and functional products. For a toilet paper commercial, an audience like this would be ideal because of the practicality of the product itself. The other audience type that might be targeted indirectly would be the Experiencers. This audience type is described as having an interest in new products and services. With this commercial, showing the versatility of the tablet would cause them to agree with the man in the commercial; however, when the use of the tablet is limited in use at the end of the commercial, it might make this audience realize that there is still some value in traditional products. The slogan at the end states, “Paper has a great future.” After that, it shows a single roll of toilet paper that says under it, “with extra paper.” Le Trefle believes in the use of paper so much that they are willing push their argument further towards proposing that one can have more of their toilet paper because it is an irreplaceable necessity. The audience had to come to this conclusion on their own, but the style of advertising aided in this process.
This product was advertised using the pseudo non-ad format of code transgressing. This ad type shows ways advertising tries to gain attention with an audience that “knows better” than to succumb to traditional advertising techniques that promote progress and a state of the art appeal. Code transgressing attempts to allow the audience to read into the commercial by understanding what is happening. For example, in the Le Trefle commercial uses a sequence of events that shows the man using his tablet in ways that many commercials might typically use. These commercials usually attempt to show the audience how their product is better than the obsolete ones. The final scene in this commercial is what allows it to be code transgressing. It took a sequence of traditional advertising techniques and reduced it to a conclusion that was logical and easy to comprehend by the audience. The goal of these ads are to make the audience feel intelligent by understanding the advertising technique, and at the end of this commercial, the audience should get a feeling of satisfaction for agreeing with the conclusion. It operates with simplicity in order to get a larger audience understanding with the hope that they have favorable feelings about the company or product being sold.
With that being said, this is a successful ad because it offers the obvious: people need toilet paper. The clever comparison to the digital age and the necessities we need daily further inclines the audience towards the Le Trefle brand of toilet paper. It seems like such a simple connection, but the fact that the Le Trefle brand made the argument puts them ahead of other toilet paper brands that simply try to make toilet paper much more luxurious than it really is. Le Trefle advertises toilet paper for what it is, and it shows that there is one thing that technology can never be. This ad is a simple reminder that we still need the basics in this digital age, and when you realize that a tablet will not cut it, Le Trefle will be there for you in the future.

Megan Denney

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