Kewl Commercials / Weird Ads
- sex
- humour
- fear
 ... and patriotism
 
last updated 2014 Mar 10
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INTRODUCTION In this Unit, we will look at some ads and commercials.
  • Some of them are good 
  • and some of them are bad 
  • and some of them are just really weird.


WTGR

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Ads and commercial ignorant of important considerations in the social-cultural environment Social-Cultural Environment

Sometimes commercials are offensive, or appear to be REALLY stupid because the person who made the commercial, or ad, did not understand customs in the target country, or did not understand how to do an exact translation so the equivalent expression could be communicated.

The London Underground in 2002 decided not to accept posters for the French film Baise-Moi. Plastering the walls of Tube stations with the words "Baise-Moi" French slang for "F&*k Me" was deemed by the Tube's advertising watchdog as "likely to cause offence to French tourists."

The British Advertising Standards Authority ordered two companies to suspend offensive ads. One targeted ad for Cavendish eBooks showed a naked woman with a laptop covering her lower body, with the tagline "easy access." Plumbing supplies company KwikCyl has agreed to stop running a controversial ad for its hot water cylinders in Heating Ventilation and Plumbing magazine. The ad showed a woman dressed only in thigh-length stiletto boots and a PVC mini-skirt, bent over and resting her chest and elbows against one of the advertised cylinders, under the tagline, "If I don't come on time, you'll get me free. And that's a promise."

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now, I'd think that because the words are in English (and not Chinese) the sign is intended for an English speaking audience, and the design of the building and the other signs in the window seem to indicate it might be in North America.

So... hasn't someone told them this is a very "unusual" name for a restaurant??

Question - how do you answer the phone?

The
Three
themes
of
most ads
Sex - Humour - Fear

Most commercials and ads have one of these three themes

Sex - The product is described in a sexy way, to get you to pay attention, or the product is explained in a way that makes you think that if you use it, you will "get some". Using sex in ads is popular, but it can also be dangerous if it is considered too offensive, or if the audience is multi-cultural and will offend large segments of your target customer base so in most cases, companies combine Humour and Sex so they can get the sexy part of the message across, but use humour to cover up any offensive parts so people will laugh at it instead of getting "uptight" because it may have been offensive to some.

Humour - The product is describe in a humourous way so that you think it is funny, and will tell your friends, and the product will become known through word-of-mouth advertising.

Fear - The product is described as being very important, and if you DO NOT use it, something bad may happen to you, you won't have fresh breath, or your car brakes will not stop you in the rain - fear is used to make you afraid if you do not buy the product. You have to be very careful using an ad based on fear because people don't like to feel they are being "threatened" - meaning if they don't spend hundreds of dollars to buy the product they will have an unhappy life - this can back-fire and cause anger against the product and make people discuss it negatively - which could create negative publicity for you to have to deal with.

WTGR

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Patriotism
- added Feb 
28th 2010
Sex - Humour - Fear + Patriotism

For many years I had been telling students that most commercials and ads are oriented to three themes, but, in reality, as the countries of the world become more competitive, it is more and more frequent that commercials (especially TV commercials during sporting events) appeal to patriotism.

Interestingly, the company making the pitch doesn't even have to be from the country of the target audience - example: Coke's TV spot in the 2010 Olympics that ended with the line "let's make sure - everyone knows - whose game - they're playing", which was changed (after Canada won the gold medal) to "now they know - who's game - they're playing"

WTGR

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S E X
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The
Three
themes
of
most ads
Sex - Humour - Fear

Sex - is a popular theme in ads and commercials in Europe and Latin America, sometimes used in North America (but in the 2000's, it is less common than the 1990's).

WTGR

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This is a good example of a combination of Sex & Humour since it is poking fun at the traditional "beach babe" swimsuit calendar.
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Sex
in
Advertising
Sex 
There are many examples of how clothing products, food products and beverages, and personal products (perfume, cosmetics etc.) are marketed differently between men and women, using sexy imagery.
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This is a good example of a company that markets a product two different ways.

The women is obviously in a sexy pose which is suggestive.

The man is in a neutral pose.

Some people find this offensive because it appears to exploit women, other people don't care because they say it is just done to attract attention.

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Sex
in
Advertising
Sex 
There are many examples of companies using ads which are explicitly sexy and designed to promote controversy and even negative publicity - which is "all good" because the company is targeting a narrow demographic and doesn't care if many other people are offended because those pople never buy the product anyways.

For those of you NOT sick of Paris Hilton, you could watch her in the Burger King ad at  www.spicyparis.com . This commercial has gathered so much publicity that it had its own website - now "that's hot" (taken done by 2007)

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Sex
in
Advertising
Sex 

Consequences, and negative publicity.

Yahoo News reported that a series of H&M lingerie advertisements featuring Claudia Schiffer wearing only bra and panties is contributing to the breakdown of social order across the globe. In Frankfurt, Germany, 3000 posters were stolen from display cases. This caused a problem when people started breaking signs (to get the posters) and leaving broken glass all around bus shelters.

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Sex
in
Advertising
Sex 

As a representation of personal relationships.

Sex is used in advertising to explain attraction between couples and encourage the viewer to buy the product so they can have a happy relationship like the couple pictured in the commercial.

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Sex : As a representation of personal relationships. ROMANCE

A combination of marketing with sex and fear

The fear part is, if you do not buy this expensive diamond ring, you will not end up like this happy couple and have a wonderful life on the beach.

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http://people.senecac.on.ca/tim.richardson/video/VeryHot.mpeg Joe Park, who was in C44 and D06 at University of Toronto in 2005 (and subsequently C44 TA (2006-2007), found some examples of Korean cell phone ads. These ads show examples of product modification and market modification.

The ad to the left demonstrates a clear example of market modification by showing how the cell phone, because it is now very very thin, (product modification), it can be used in a number of new kewl ways.

The use of sex in this ad is subtle and the sort of thing that would be understood by 2Kers but nobody else.

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http://people.senecac.on.ca/tim.richardson/video/Zooming.mpg This ad shows that by using the phone camera, with a telescoping lens, you can do things you previously could not do.

This particular commercial has a guy using the camera to take a picture of a girl from a far distance

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U of T student Conrad M. in MGD415/CCT322 in March 2008 did some research and found that the woman in the Korean cell phone ads (noted above) is a well known celebrity. Conrad's comments from his email are shown to the right 
I just wanted to comment on the part of your lecture where you discussed about the competitive cell phone environment in South Korea. The advertisements you showed featured an attractive Korean woman promoting the Samsung Anycall cell phones. The ads you showed weren't just examples of product modification (the cell phone screen turns into a horizontal screen) but also celebrity endorsement. The woman's name is Hyori Lee (or Lee Hyori) and she's actually a mega pop star in South Korea. Hyori is actually a pretty interesting person from a marketing perspective:

Not only does she do endorsements by appearing in the Anycall commercials but Samsung also does product placement advertising in her music videos. In her music video called "Anymotion" (youtube link here), she uses the Anycall phone with the horizontal screen. The music video is actually quite lengthy (about seven minutes). Anymotion was such a hit that she made follow up "Anysomething" videos. For example, "Anyclub" (which features two other Korean pop celebrities) followed then "Anystar" after that. You can bet I watched these videos with scrutiny watching for these product placements. (At least that's what I tell my girlfriend).

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Conrad concludes by saying
So Samsung employed great tactics for their advertising strategy: Celebrity endorsement, product placement, product modification in combination with celebrity endorsement and finally brand association: the word Any (though used improperly) used in her music videos makes the consumer associate that word to the Anycall product.
Conrad-Aidan M.
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www.media-awareness.ca suggests that 

"when looking at couples in ads, note the sex-role messages. Is one person dominant? Who has the power? Sometimes messages are very subtle a man's hand placed on a woman's shoulder might not be sexual, but it may indicate dominance and control. As students decode these advertisements, ask them to consider the following:"

 o What are the women doing?
 o What are the men doing?
 o Who is in the foreground?
 o Who is in the background?
 o Are the women or men placed beside objects that send out specific messages?
 o Who is active, Who is not?
 o How are they dressed (or undressed)?
 o Are there any patterns in the images of males and females that emerge from these ads?

bottom line __________________________
 o Does this make you feel interested in buying the product?
 o Do you feel that if you bought the product you might be associated with other people who say the ad, and appreciate those images?.
from www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/lessons/secondary/ethics/sex_in_advertising.cfm
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see also  http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/offensiveads.html
 
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S E X &  H U M O U R
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Sometimes, it is more safe if advertisers mix a litle bit of sex with humour so both genders can watch the ad and find amusement at the outcome

http://www.doubleagent.com/play/the-jogging-tease example
link http://www.doubleagent.com/play/the-jogging-tease
 
 
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H U M O U R
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http://www.awfulcommercials.com/ I spent so much time surfing on awfulcommercials.com looking for kewl examples to show students, I forgot to feed the cat and he went to the fridge, drank my beer, then passed out - my wife was vex man

WTGR

VERY funny http://www.awfulcommercials.com/archives/2005/12/04/geico-cavemen/
 
Humour
in
Advertising
Humour 

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place." - Mark Twain

Why humour is an important tool?
because sometimes it is not effective to use sex or fear to get a message across so you try a different angle to make people think about something in a bit more highthearted manner.

For example - 

Foreview of New Jersey says
"57,000 Americans a year die from colon cancer, nearly the number lost in the entire Vietnam War. This number, according to The American Cancer Society, would drop significantly if people over 50 were checked regularly. But being tested for colon cancer through a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy is not a pleasant experience and most people of course fear the possibility of bad news.... it is clear that The American Cancer Society's usual strategy of using fear to convince people to either stop smoking, eat better, or get tested would only turn people further away from making the best decisions.

The American Cancer Society has chosen to use another emotion to encourage people to get tested for colon Cancer-humor. Beginning in March 2002, several ads using a man (known as "Polyp Man"), dressed in a big red suit, making him look more like Mr. M&M, will use humor to encourage people to get tested."

from www.foreview.com/magazine/2002_03_15/industries.shtml

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Humour
in
Advertising
Using Humour is not an automatic road to success

Michael Hepworth explains

"The worst thing with humour, is that it is open to misinterpretation. Even if people find your humour amusing, does it sell?"

Hepworth cautions that "What sells are clear benefits."
It may be funny, but it also has to give a message that the product is good to buy

Hepworth says "Another challenge in these days of political correctness, is that others might find it offensive. So why use something that hides your benefits, is open to misinterpretation or might create offence? In my view the most important thing in advertising is to create a clear Unique Selling Proposition and use it to succinctly communicate why people should choose you over your competition."

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Humour
in
Advertising

High Tech
products

Many high tech products use humour because they are marketing to both men and women and the target market segment is very wide - in order to avoid "turning off" some people in the segment, they employ humour instead of sex. This Korean Cell phone ad below is an example.
http://people.senecac.on.ca/tim.richardson/video/ProductModificationVerticalPhone.mpeg Joe P., who was in C44 and D06 at University of Toronto in 2005, found some examples of Korean cell phone ads. These ads show examples of product modification.

The ad to the left demonstrates a clear example of product modification by showing how the cell phone screen has been modified to show the screen horizontally.

The cute ad demonstrates why this makes sense because many other things in everyday life are horizontally oriented, not vertically.

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Humour
in
Advertising

mixing
T.V. ads with web-based
products

Andrew C.  who was in MGD 415 and CCT 322 at University of Toronto (UTM) in 2007, contributed a long and well thought out email to share his opinions on the subject of humour that is used in a way that combines the medium of the Internet and T.V. commercials.

Andrew wrote

I thought I'd share this example of a contemporary humor based promotional campaign: www.copingwithbliss.com.  It promotes Workopolis.com.

The website address is broadcast through their television advertisements, effectively bridging the two media - an important trend in contemporary advertising.  (Most obvious example: on-line viewing of Super Bowl ads.)  This promotional mix facilitates propagation - viral marketing - and helps generate, pull, or direct traffic to the Website.

The marketers have used irony, paradox, and sarcasm in their content to convey humor.  Sarcasm can backfire if it generates cynicism in the target audience but can sometimes work quite well.  In this case, the reflexive parody, evident in the infomercial style or special-offer form of the ostensible ad serves to offset or mitigate the cynical response.  In particular, be sure to check out the Elation Quiz and also the Daily Tips offering useful suggestions such as reading The Little Book of Big Worries to aid in Personal Problem Generation which can be helpful for finding things to fret over during your daily Worry Window.

It is reminiscent of the Leon's Don't Pay a Cent Event style television ads: The Handsome Flier, featuring a leather capped, handsome open-cockpit-plane pilot who delivers Leon's fliers and refuses any payment from purse-in-hand housewives; Ho Ho Hold the Payment, featuring    Santa Claus auditions by unusual hopefuls; and, their No Money Miracle, "I can sit! I  can  sit!" 

Andrew suggested further reading can be done at  wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon's

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Humour
in
Advertising

Marketing
Blunders

Sometimes companies make big mistakes in marketing - at the time it can cause a problem for the P.R. people who worry about the customers that might not buy the product - however, in the long term, it can simply end up as a funny incident.
Click left to read a funny story about how Prof. Richardson was quoted in a story about a beer company that made a mistake in one of their promotions.
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Self-deprecating Humour
In class Feb 15th in CCT322 and MGD415 at UTM, I mentioned how sometimes when you use humour in advertising is is best to use self-deprecating humour - basically making fun of yourself ... which is safer than making fun of someone else who may be offended, which can cause you to lose a customer.

One of the students (Iqbal S.) sent an interesting email in which he explores the idea of self-depracating humour and culture jamming. It was PDF'd and put at the link below
 witiger.com/marketing/selfdeprecating_ads.pdf
 

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F E A R
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Fear
in
Advertising
Fear 

Fear is used in a variety of purposes in advertising

Selling products and services
- if you don't buy it, something bad may happen
Advocacy Advertising by Government or Associations 
- if you do not stop doing something, something bad will happen
eg. wear your seatbelt, stop smoking, stop polluting.

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Fear
in
Advertising
Selling products and services
- if you don't buy it, something bad may happen

"Life insurance companies like Prudential attempt to appeal to a person's sense of, "Don't wait until it's too late." They hope to get people to worry about how their loved ones will provide for themselves once he/she is dead. They paint a very gloomy picture of the possible consequences of not having life insurance, and they love to point out that you should act immediately because you never know when it is going to be too late."

from Dr. Richard C. Sherman of Miami University

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Fear
in
Advertising
Using Fear to Sell products and services

Pratkanis and Aronson (1991) claim that 
"a fear appeal is most effective when 
(1) it scares the hell out of people, 
(2) it offers a specific recommendation for overcoming the fear aroused threat, 
(3) the recommended action is perceived as effective for reducing the threat, and (4) the message recipient believes that he or she can perform the recommended action." 

Sherman explains that "This explains why many appeals to fear are unsuccessful. For example, a smoker might see an advertisement by the American Cancer Society that does "scare" the hell out of him/her. The recommended action is clear; don't smoke. However, it isn't that simple. The person may not think that it would be possible for him/her to stop smoking."

from Dr. Richard C. Sherman of Miami University

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Fear
in
Advertising
Problems using Fear 

The Center for Interactive Advertising says "the fear appeal is a somewhat risky approach to making a connection with the consumer. Most likely, using fear in advertising will make some connection with the audience. However, the problem lies in making sure that the audience leaves the ad with a positive connection towards your brand."
 
 

from Center for Interactive Advertising(ciAd)  www.ciadvertising.org

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PATRIOTISM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRI-A3vakVg One of the earliest examples of patriotism (prior to 911) is the example of the Molson beer ad "I am canadian" rant

This was extreeemely popular until execs at Molson's pulled it because the feared they would offend Canada's urban "multi-cultural" population.

Since then Molson has had a series of other ads - many featured on YouTube describing patriotic themes

One very popular ad featured a Canadian being teased by an American, and responding by pulling his suit over his head, like in a hockey fight.
 youtube.com/watch?v=TL01SReeOqE&feature=related 

My personal favourite is the Molson ad asking
"Canadians are too polite"
 youtube.com/watch?v=TEsk8b09cQM&feature=related
(featuring a diverse cast)
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vYFIufNoBo  He Shoots he Scores
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vYFIufNoBo

"let's make sure
- everyone knows 
- whose game 
- they're playing"

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 The Sidney Crosby ad for Tim Hortons in 2009
- bus breaks down, Crosby gets off and joins some little kids playing pond hockey
 youtube.com/watch?v=JTmUBATgNSE&feature=related
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Patriotism Here is an example of an American sports apparel company (NIKE)  using patriotism in an ad specifically targeted to fans of the Finnish national hockey team
 youtube.com/watch?v=iUr_0T4rifM&feature=related
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CREDITS:

Some of the information on this page comes a website page that contains content created by Connie Landry, Ottawa Board of Education, and from the Ontario Ministry of Education's Media Literacy Resource Guide.see www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/lessons/secondary/ethics/sex_in_advertising.cfm

Other information came from a website discussing sex and advertising at  www.dazereader.com/advertisingsex.htm

Other information came from a website from Dr. Richard C. Sherman from the Department of Psychology of Miami University www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/p324ads1.shtml
Dr. Sherman emailed back Nov 21st, 2005, giving consent to quote/link. Copies of emails kept in the permissions binder.

Other information came from a website from the Center for Interactive Advertising(ciAd) www.ciadvertising.org/ciad_html/about.html

Michael Hepworth is a Revenue Growth Specialist with Results Exchange Inc. He can be reached at StreetSmart.Marketer@results-exchange.com or visit his web site at www.results-exchange.com
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