Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I, like many who have been inundated with advertising, find most commercials to be, well, lacking. The lacking of which I speak is on such a grand scale, simply because so much of it is foisted upon us, that it’s a bit maddening. It’s like being forced to eat bland food every moment of your life.

With this barren backdrop, any well-constructed advertising really pops. Two fairly recent commercials have “popped” me into a hopeful space in which I enjoyed the manipulation inherent in advertising. The first, a commercial for Curves gym for women begins with a roundish little girl-cherub poised on a rather high standing diving board. She’s looking nervous and a bit scared. Cut to her jumping off of the board and making a big splash into the pool, followed directly by the requisite “blah, blah, blah…Curves Gym, join it…” Ending with the big payoff: little cherub swimming toward the side of the pool with a big, proud grin on her face and all you can do is think, “That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! I’m like that little girl, I have courage, I can challenge myself, where’s the number to that gym??”

The second commercial was for Dove hair care products and featured Wilma Flinstone, Velma Dinkley of Scooby-Doo fame and Jane Jetson. Each was depicted with her hair as it appeared on their respective television shows. Each spoke of the problems associated with “stiff, unmoving” hair. I’m riveted. Cut to the “blah, blah, blah, Dove hair care products allow your hair to flow naturally...” Ending with the big pay off; Wilma’s beautiful red-flowing locks tossing gently from side to side as she turns her head ever so slowly, Velma with a new youthful bob looks radiant and Jane, well, her harshly scooped up hair now has a delightfully gentle lift that highlights her fabulous eyes. And all you can think is, “Those gals look great! Where can I get me some Dove hair care products??”

Both smart, both sweet, both appealing to our shared experience. When advertising is done this well...well, it looks easy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too really enjoyed the cartoon hair commercial. It's about time that some of my favorite women on tv get to bust out of thier everyday roles and look fabulous doing it. Thanks for the post.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Amy McWeasel said...

I haven't seen either one of those commercials, but I know what you mean. There is a recent eBay commercial that I love: You're watching a young boy at the beach, having a grand time with his toy boat. He's called away, and the ocean swipes his boat when he's not looking. The toy boat endures quite an ordeal before winding up on a fishing boat. Cut to an adult man who's just found his beloved boat on eBay. His joy is so nice to see.

As a TiVo owner, I've been following the media coverage over how the advertising industry wants to make it so TiVo owners can't fast forward through commercials. This bugs me for several reasons: 1) If I got TV for free, then I would be more willing to watch the ads - ads were the way broadcast TV made its money. I pay for cable. I pay a lot for cable. No ads for me, thank you. 2) What are you going to do next? Prevent VCR owners from fast fowarding commercials? Ridiculous! A TiVo is really just a super-smart VCR. 3) When I see an ad I think I might like, I will rewind to the beginning of the ad and watch it. Case in point: the eBay ad, or the Roaming Gnome ads ("Don't forget your hat!"), or the SuperBowl ads. The lesson here for advertisers is that if you grab my attention, I will watch your ad.

After reading your post, I'll be on the lookout for your two ads, and if I see them whizzing by, I'll slow down and give them a look.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I am sure you know, the Curves gym owner Gary Heavin supports Operation Rescue (that old chestnut...)
Lovely ads are appealing, but please don't join.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Aerenchyma said...

Yeah, don't join. Great commercial though. For more on the founder of Curves see this Salon article.

7:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home