How’s it going? It’s practically a ritual around here–analyzing Super Bowl commercials (which yes, I have misspelled “commericals” on occasion…may not have caught them all).
I think I’m going to do one per post, and I don’t know how many posts I’m going to do–I’m guessing probably this one and one other one (unless I want to slip in some analysis later on, of course).
These commercials are brand advertising–the equivalent of yelling “Looky here.” Thing is, being able to do that during the Super Bowl ran about $5 mil this time it rolled around (something that T-Mobile did something like 6 times this year too).
The Tiffany jewelry folks even got in on the action for the first time ever, with Lady Gaga (it was really classy and I enjoyed that)…
Brand advertising is usually further up the chain than direct response–meaning that sales can be tracked out the other side, but usually these types of ads work together, and since brand ads don’t really ask people to do anything (even though they present features and benefits cleverly) they can only be indirectly responsible for sales (“Hey, that sounds cool, let’s go check out X,” when no one ever suggested they actually buy X…not usually).
Deep breath…okay, I probably won’t actually be analyzing those, though.
Let’s get to it (I get kinda jazzed about these concepts and things–and I ain’t sorry one bit).
The first one I’d like to jaw about is the Avocados from Mexico ad, because of the humor (and not much else).
The secretive higher-up people are having a meeting, saying they can’t keep secrets, and then unmasking themselves and talking like normal people (after one dude mumbles because he’s masked and can’t be heard).
And then they go into all kinds of secrets that have gotten out…nutty conspiracy theories and whatnot–everything from the moon landing to Areas 52-54, to Bigfoot, flat footballs/fall dudes, and more (there’s even a polite disagreement about the whole Bigfoot thing).
There’s a leak, and it doesn’t matter who it is…because people have figured out avocados. And then they inexplicably bring up subliminal advertising…followed by eating well…you know. But they used chips, which is awesome.
As other people have already pointed out, this took a while to warm up to what the product is, and that was a minus for them in my book (although all the banter did keep me interested). Some commercials show what seem to be random images and it really throws me off, but that’s another story.
That reminds me of something huge for writers.
Curiosity is something that you always want to have in your copy (emails, sales letters, VSLs, what-have-ya), and in your fiction too. Figuring out what happens next is something that keeps readers reading, as long as you tie up everything at the end, and it’s interesting along the way.
And humor doesn’t hurt either, as long as it doesn’t, you know, hurt.
As a bonus, humans have always been fascinated by things that are secret or hidden (or that they perceive as such).
How to put all this to work?
For fiction, you know your world–how many floors are in your Tower of Made-Up Terror, who made it the furthest, and what-have-ya…
Your readers don’t.
Not one bit of it. So if you can reveal that a piece at a time, if it’s relevant, you can keep readers interested as the rest of the plot and characters move along. And that’s how the unfamiliar becomes familiar (and why tons of people know who lives in Orthanc).
In copy, if something is secret, people want to know about it–that’s kinda what bullets are for–to get people interested in something, or thinking about it in a way they never have before so they want to get ahold of it and take advantage of it.
And if something is secret, and people don’t have access to it right now, that means other people DO have access (exclusivity).
Next time you’re bored with commercials, try looking at them with a writer’s eye and see what you discover (or you can just come back here…whichever you’d rather).
Until next time,