I LOVE COMMERCIALS! Maybe because I work in advertising but I think there’s more to it than that…
I think it comes more from my love of film. Essentially a commercial is a 30 second film, right? The advertisers have 30 seconds to introduce you to new characters, tell you a story, and ultimately make you want whatever product or service they are selling.
I studied film and TV in college and had the pleasure of making some short films, both for assignments and for fun, so I know first hand the challenges that come with trying to communicate potentially A LOT of information in a very short amount of time.
You want to make it interesting.
You want to make people care.
You want to make people have a reaction.
An added challenge with commercials? Not only are you telling a story you want people to care about but you also want to give people a call to action, since you ultimately want them to BUY!
My current favorite commercial is for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe titled “Don’t Tell”
Why do I love this commercial? From the first scene YOU KNOW this is a family that enjoys spending time together. They are always out and about together, they have fun together, they take risks. All risks that mom can’t know about, since these adventures are often a little bit dicey.
They establish right away that dad and kids are adventurers!
The reveal at the end? The adventures don’t end with dad- mom gets in on the action too!
And what makes all these adventures possible? The Hyundai Santa Fe! The car is never pushed in your face, there are no “hard sells,” it’s simply another member of the family, taking part in the fun and shenanigans, and helping the family get to their next adventure!
Characters. Story. Purpose.
To me are these are the main points for a commercial to hit and this one hits them all out of the park!
What commercials do you love? Any that particularly inspire your ad brain?
One thing that I tend to always consider when brainstorming, working, animating, or designing, is the concept of character, and its emotional investment from the viewer. While this concept of character is important on a technical and practical level for animation/design to be effective, I am much more interested in the actual creation of a character or characters for use in advertising. Creating effective characters results in more memorable campaigns and higher retention among viewers.
Creating effective characters, especially through comedy, allows viewers to empathize and relate to situations and products that could otherwise go unnoticed. Thanks to the internet and web advertising, videos can now be much longer, and much more involved. This allows for short stories and webisode-like content that can help sell products much more effectively. The use of social media, and the concept of user discovery, (allowing a user to find content on the internet via social media and word of mouth) has become a very crucial paradigm for advertising in the new age.
Case in Point: There are several already effective campaigns out there, that people will seek out and watch, simply because the content is funny, viral, or otherwise interesting. Many of these campaigns involve specific characters to deliver the selling points.
Allstate Mayhem guy:
Over 1,000,000 views!
Old Spice – The Man Your Man Should Smell Like
Almost 40,000,000 views!
Kenny Powers – K Swiss
Almost 3,000,000 views.
Characters can really make a campaign shine! It can also help unify a look or branding that sell the product. Using characters in advertising over the internet is also great because censorship becomes much less of an issue.
So obviously, I am a big fan. And after leaving my thoughts with you, I figured I would leave you with one more wonderful video link. You may have seen this, but if not, you are in for a fun treat.
As the New Year just began, most people (especially football fanatics) will start to daydream about the year’s biggest football event . . . . . . . The Super Bowl. Not only is it a big time for football, but also a big time for the advertising industry to see the next big commercial that will break through during a 30 second spot. The Super Bowl can make or break a new commercial, but if it becomes a success the audience can now access it virtually through video and social media sites such as YouTube, where it can reach viewers at the far corners of the globe. When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday personally I am always glued to the screen for the game, but once the commercials come on I stop whatever I am doing to watch because most companies show their best or worst advertising ideas during these short 30 second spots.
Below is a great commercial example from the 2011 Super Bowl that I am sure all of us will recall as being one of the most memorable from last year.
The simplicity of the commercial mixed with people reminiscing about running around the house when they, themselves were a kid while pretending to have super powers is what really brings the commercial home to most. After looking back on a commercial from last year everyone needs to be watching on February 5th to pick your new favorite commercial for 2012.