Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Even if the entire city is on fire and aliens are attacking the citizens, a parent’s number one duty is to find milk for their children.

In a recent Super Bowl ad, actor and professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson collaborated with Milk Mustache “Got Milk?” Campaign to demonstrate how important it is for a parent to make sure their children get milk and the essential nutrients for breakfast. In this commercial, his children respond in disbelief when Dwayne Johnson says, “We’re out of milk.” Then, on the way to get a carton of milk, he runs into the most ludicrous events, ranging from a child asking for help in rescuing her kitten to an elderly who’s screaming for help in a car trapped under a ferocious lion. Yet, Johnson only looks at the milk truck and doesn’t stop to help his neighbors.

Therefore, what does this ad signify? An advertisement introduces signifiers that “act as the material vehicle of meaning” and the signified that represents its “abstract side” (164). Semiotics plays a role in advertising because advertisers address certain signs that interpellate us as consumers to become believers or participants of the ad campaign. We not only support the ideologies presented in the ads as true, but also actively participate in the process by identifying with them in our daily lives. We ultimately “create a code that unites the designer and reader” (164).

This Super Bowl ad is highly exaggerated with humor to emphasize the importance of milk and ultimately targets average families in the United States with the notion that milk is always a necessity in normal American homes. For example, from the beginning, the casting of children and a parent immediately suggests a home-like setting, which indicates that the targeted audience for this ad is most likely a traditional family. Dwayne Johnson’s muscular and masculine physique also signifies the parent’s role as dependable and protective, which is what the advertisers seem to want to portray to their audience. He acts as a superhero for his children, but not necessarily to his neighbors and those that are actually in need and in emergency situations. At the end of the clip, he tells his children, “Ladies, gotta go to work” and punches an alien out the window while drinking a cup of milk. This sort of domestic classification demonstrates the power of milk in an average American household. Johnson acts as the definition of the perfect American father and reminds viewers of the cultural norm that kids need their parents to supply them with breakfast and more importantly, with milk. Additionally, we see signs of Johnson’s averageness through the clothes he wears in the ad. He simply wears a gray shirt and blue pajamas bottoms, which suggests that he is not necessarily poor yet he is also not exceptionally wealthy. Thus, his attire hints at the idea of affordability of milk that suggests a socially accepted value in the American society. It signifies that milk is the ideal drink for children because of its expensiveness and abundance of protein and nutrients that are necessary for growing kids.

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In the last few weeks, we’ve discussed in length how advertisers and marketers continually try to catch up and adapt to the changing discourse and practices of real life. We, as consumers, are constantly inundated with media, so it’s up to ad (wo)men to figure out how to break through all the clutter to speak to you, the individual. One corporate approach that’s been harnessed into advertising was a movement to personify and humanize the product. Another course of action is to collapse multiple media texts together in hopes of aligning yourself with a media product that has already established a loyal and discernible fan base. Simple Skincare, a brand endorsed by “sensitive skin experts,” has done both.

In their latest ad campaign, Simple has invested their efforts ($) into getting actress Allison Williams to front the face of the company. The strategic move is not only an appropriate marketing ploy, but speaks to the cultural currency that’s circulating in our lives today. Allison Williams was a great person to nab for celebrity sponsorship. In Social Communication in Advertising (Leiss, Kline, Jhally, Botterill), the authors suggest that there was a great push to “link [] lifestyle to celebrity culture” because “audiences wanted to see Hollywood behind-the-scenes (p. 360).” While this was to suggest that advertisers merely aimed to marry everyday boring people life to everyday star-studded life, Simple Skincare took it literally. And for great measure. In their commercial for Simple cleansing wipes, Allison is filmed on a “behind-the-scenes” set where she is made to intentionally break character. When she says “everyday I’m putting my skin through a lot,” the giant stage light was scripted to shine in her face, making the fresh-faced beauty squint unattractively. The viewer consumes this sequence by unpacking the signifiers: Allison is the girl next door who stumbled upon fame–she exists in real life, has real faults, and has a job (albeit a super glamorous job). The book SCA identifies Simple’s scheme as the perfect balance between relatable and ideal celebrity image: “To fawn excessively over celebrities or to encourage readers to directly mimic a celebrity lifestyle would be considered crass, implying that readers are sheep with no sense of identity…celebrities had to be made to appear as authentic working people (p. 361).” Ergo, Simple products adopt the charming, simple characteristics that Allison has been identified with.

The company’s move to match their image to the much-loved Girls co-star is to tap into youth culture. Youth are constantly wavering between adhering and attacking advertisements, so the means of communicating to that complicated demographic must be done carefully. In SCA’s chapter “The Mobilization of the Yuppies and Generation X,” companies began to reach this market through “disjoined visuals” that speaks to the alienated young consumer. “A sense of ‘rupture’ in advertising messages took place in the Gen X ads…where advertising’s old meanings–its perpetually happy, idealistic, congenial worlds, made better by the product–became farcicial to an audience leery of promotional culture’s hype and unbelievable claims.” Here, Simple Skincare reenacts this idea literally. Allison’s ideal celebrity lifestyle during makeup is interrupted by bringing “behind-the-scenes” to the scene. Although this commercial is still rather “happy, idealistic, congenial..” we see Simple attempting to break down the fourth wall of advertising in an attempt to speak to the Girls and boys of Gen Y. 

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This is an ad by a popular yoga outfit brand lululemon athletica and I want to present a semiotic analysis of this ad. There are different parts to semiotic analysis and first, we have to figure out the “signifiers,” which are “the material vehicle of meaning” in order to figure out what they “signify” or what they mean (Leiss, Kline, Jhally, and Botterill 164). Some “signifiers” that can be located in this ad are: the female model, Aarona Pichinson, performing a seemingly high-level yoga position in an organic setting, the spandex brand Lycra logo, a slogan that says “You either have it or you don’t” and two texts, “Aarona Pichinson lululemon Ambassador” and “When lululemon atheltica is powered by Lycra, it fits our body and your lifestyles too.” The next step is to analyze what these signifiers “signify”; in other words, what meanings to they try deliver to the ad viewers.

The text “Aarona Pichinson lululemon Ambassador” delivers a pretty straightforward information to the audience that a person named “Aarona Pichinson” is lululemon athletica’s ambassador or model. And after receiving this information, some viewers may throw a question such as ”Who is Aarona Pichinson?” It is because Aarona Pichinson is not a “well known” public figure as Brad Pitt or President Obama to most people. However, for those who practice yoga and retain some knowledge about yoga may recognize Aarona Pichinson as a popular yoga instructor. So, the ad, by choosing Aarona Pichinson and appointing her as the brand’s model narrows the brand’s targeted audience to the members of the yogi community. Therefore, to such narrowly targeted audiences, the model Aarona Pichinson can signify legitimacy and trustworthiness of the brand and the product. And Aarona Pichinson is just blankly standing there but is doing seemingly difficult yoga position in an organic setting. This can further add the legitimacy and trustworthiness to the product, the yoga outfit, by giving the audience an impression that with the help of yoga outfit that she is wearing, she is able to do some “crazy” and high-level yoga positions in a seemingly exotic, nontraditional (not in a typical yoga studio), and natural setting that looks like as if she is in India, the birthplace of Yoga. The purple Lycra Logo may represent high elasticity of lululemon atheltica’s yoga clothes because the clothing material is a high-quality spandex, “Lycra.” The slogan “You either have it or you don’t” is an interesting one because it reflects yoga philosophy—”you either can enact the posture and sustain or you don’t—which can be identified by the active yogis. The slogan, while embedding such philosophy, is urging the viewers to take an immediate action and purchase the product. Last but not least, the text “When lululemon athletica powered by Lycra, it fits our body and your lifestyle too” suggests that wearing lululemon athletica yoga clothes can not only help you with your yoga skills but will also imbue vitality to one’s lifestyle. Such establishment of product to real life connection may increase the consumers’ personal attachment to the product and the brand.

The signifiers and their “signifieds” or “meanings” explained above all hold similar purpose that they assign the brand lululemon athletica with strong sense of legitimacy, trust, consumer loyalty, effectiveness, and high functionality. And these qualities are fairly crucial for brands such as lululemon athletica since the brand’s products are largely sportswear and sport-related goods that require high performance and physical support. Moreover, having similar goals, these signifiers also promote societal norms and values in our society. For instance, presenting a single female model may suggest that Yoga is a sport that is practiced by more females than males, which may not necessarily true. And also Aarona Pichinson is telling her female audience that as women, they should desire such great flexibility. In addition, the ad also promotes individualism and nonconformity that is highly prevalent in our society today. Just like Aarona Pichinson who is performing yoga in “public” not really caring about others’ attention and thoughts, we, as audience, should follow such “carefree” and “liberating” attitude.  

As I mentioned above, the ad is narrowing down its audience to mainly active yoga practitioners and the yoga community. However, not only the ad is pitching to the yoga community, it is also approaching the female audience; because, most likely the female audience will be able to identify what “Lycra” is besides it being a brand name. Since Lycra is a kind of spandex material that is largely used to make women’s bras, the female population would know better and can relate to “Lycra” better than male audiences. Moreover, the ad may grab more attention from upper-middle class that reside in most cities. Sports like yoga or pilates are perceived as more of an city culture than rural or even suburban (Right below lululemon athletica’s logo, there is an information about the opening of the new location in Lincoln Center, NYC). So, city dwellers that are more likely to get exposed to yoga or pilates maybe the targeted audiences for lululemon athletica. Also, yoga, unlike running, is not a free sport that one needs to pay monthly or yearly fee for classes and needs to purchase a yoga mat and other necessary equipments. So, this sport and as well as the brand maybe more appealing to upper-middle class that are more likely to pay for yoga classes, yoga mats, and also the yoga outfits than the lower class.

An alternative interpretation of this ad is that the ad may possibly stereotyping Indians and yoga culture. Even though the ad viewers may not be able to identify the race and ethnicity of the model but to some viewers, like me, she can pass for being Indian or Asian. Having an Indian or Asian-looking model may increase the sense of authenticity of the brand as a yoga outfit brand since yoga originated from India; however, at the same time, the ad is stereotyping Indian and yoga culture by injecting thoughts in consumers such as, ‘Everyone in India should do yoga’ or ‘Yoga is distinctively Indian culture.’

 

 

 

 

 

It’s only February and 2013 has proven to be the year of the B. Beyoncé’s international tour has recently released an extended television ad for England’s O2 customer’s gaining priority access for tickets to the UK leg of The Mrs. Carter World Tour. The advertisement uses the power of semiotics, the construction of meaning through signs, to transcend the monotony of a pre-sale announce and creates a stylistic visual art that furthers Beyoncé’s brand and established presence in the consumption culture. Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson, in their work “Advertising in the Age of Accelerated Meaning,” explain, “Texts become defined not so much by the story they tell, but by the referential combinations they style. Style overwhelms story” (93).

Beyoncé’s text immediately establishes the story it is telling as the music sets the dramatic tone and the camera zooms in on her corset as it is being laced. As her thigh high boots are zipped up and a bejeweled necklace, adorned with a picture of her husband, we see Beyoncé as someone who is not only opulent, but someone who holds the status and earns the right to be intricately dressed by her own footmen. A spritz of perfume (perhaps a nod to her recently released fragrance “Heat”), followed by the aligning of a tiny crowd, putting a ring on, and then taking command of her sceptor, the first 30 seconds of the video does not even feature Beyoncé’s undeniably stunning face. This focus on her adornments speaks to Beyonce’s elusiveness as well as her planned and controlled maintenance of her public image. Avoiding social media and living a protected lifestyle, Beyoncé’s stardom stems from her performative fierceness and god-like command over the world.

As her footmen open the door and grand jeté to welcome the entrance of her majesty, Queen Beyoncé enters. Strutting down the decadent setting, Beyoncé replicates her signature stomp and never ceases to lose her eye contact. Goldman and Papson declare, “Effective appropriation of a cultural moment or style is contingent on how the ad appellates (hails) its target audience members” (90). The current culture moment is one in which Beyoncé does not just sing about running the world but indeed does run the world. With an ornately decorated high collar and a teased yet contained up-do, Beyoncé commands the room and even takes a glimpse at a portrait of herself on the wall. Beyoncé exudes royalty and embraces her Queendom. From surveying the crowd at the inauguration to causing a blackout at the Superbowl, Beyoncé is extending her dominance of 2013 into this advertisement. As the ominous music underscores the video, the advertisement hails its audience into the drone like followers of their devout Queen. Beyoncé demands respect and is held to a higher standard of a performer and global icon. Her fans and consumers are more refined and are essentially ranked higher on the taste hierarchy than the more radical “Little Monsters” and “Barbs”. When we buy into the Beyoncé brand, our consumption identity becomes one of a glamorous sexuality that exudes confidence and esteem.

The ad also conveys Beyoncé’s brand’s view on femininity and womanhood at this time. Being a mother to Blue Ivy and a husband to Jay-Z has significantly defined Beyoncé as she enters her 30’s. By titling her tour “The Mrs. Carter World Tour”, she is aligning her image as one that is derived from her wife status. Depicting herself as a powerful Queen, she is commanding and controlling not only her career but also her household, thus asserting her mastery of the modern housewife who is strongly independent financially, domestically equipped, and even seductively dominating.

After the release of her documentary Life is but a Dream, it is no surprise that the commercial ends with voiceover, “You don’t have to stand in line, to look behind the scenes…. You just have to be you, you’re our priority”. As consumers, we want to maintain our agency while still being active in the consumption culture. The ad may put our individuality first, however we are only called into this idea by adopting the identity and associations of the Beyoncé brand. Goldman and Papson explain, “Advertisements are structured to boost the value of commodity brand names by attaching them to images that possess social and cultural value” (81). Beyoncé is the commodity, she is the brand, and she is a social and cultural institution. When these are combined in this advertisement, her subjects, her consumers, sit back with awe and admiration over their Queen. Her power and dominance as international royalty is illustrated through her adornments, the setting, her movements, and her utter presence. This advertisement for “The Mrs. Carter World Tour” just manages to extend her reign as the consumer’s Queen.

 

     Chapter 6 of Social Communication in Advertising discusses the shift from advertisements focusing on gratification from the product itself toward lifestyle-based advertisements. In lifestyle advertising, the product becomes “a totem, a representation of a clan or group” (200) that we, as consumers, can become part of the moment we identify ourselves with that brand and make a purchase. I think that this could be particularly interesting in cases where the advertisers must sell a product that is not actually a physical thing, and so I decided to look at an Allstate commercial:

    In order to successfully sell a particular lifestyle, companies must establish a product identity, which can be particularly useful when trying to sell a product in a market that is saturated with similar products, as well as to ensure a consumer market for future products. This ad achieves this through using personification, forming an association, and pitching a slogan.
Although, in this particular ad, the male actor is performing the role of a female, teen driver, the advertisers assume that the viewer is bringing prior knowledge of the campaign to this ad, and relying on the fact that we know this man as “Mayhem”. Although he is not a personification of the product, itself, he is a personification of the very thing that the product will protect the consumer from: chaos, accidents-inevitable mayhem. Giving mayhem human characteristics allows the advertisers to shape it as a tangible being that is mischievous and sneaky, something that is lurking out in the world waiting to prank any unlucky person that isn’t yet protected. It counter-argues against the person that says “I won’t get insurance and hope for the best; a tree isn’t likely to fall on my house and I probably won’t get into a car accident” because, the Allstate campaign suggests, those things will happen as long as Mayhem is out there.
Not only this ad, but the entire campaign associates its insurance product with relief. The ads instill a sense of fear; they do not promise that bad things will not happen. In fact, they promise the exact opposite. Bad things will happen, but they can be less bad if they don’t take as great a toll on you financially, and if you can easily replace the material things that were damaged. Additionally, this ties very closely in with the slogan.
By associating its insurance with a strong sense of safety, Allstate taps into a feeling that is widely desired across many different kinds of people. The slogan “Are You in Good Hands?” makes the consumer felt taken care of, safe, and as if he/she has some element of control over the uncontrollable.
Through these three tactics, Allstate successfully brands itself as fitting into the kind of lifestyle that a young yet responsible individual might find him/herself in. This lifestyle is for the people that are not afraid to laugh a little at the inevitability of accidents, and can find a bit of humor in either their mistakes, others’ mistakes, or simply bad luck.

In order to understand the influence and meaning an ad holds, one must analyze the image and message through semiotics, or the study of signs. Within each culture, various objects, words, and images hold their own assigned meaning that allows humans to make sense of what they are interacting with. Essentially, through a process known as “abduction”, humans are able to see an image, process its cultural code or meaning, and ultimately understand the overall message the image conveys. It is through this process that a culturally relevant audience can understand advertisements and their significance. One interesting ad that can be analyzed through semiotics is Tom Ford’s recent campaign for his Spring collection footwear:

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For a thorough semiotic analysis of an ad, there are six questions one must consider:

1) What are the signifiers in the ad?
In the ad, we see a half naked, attractive young man smiling; we see black wedges with gold chains; we see two legs and feet with red nail polish; and we see the large “Tom Ford” logo at the bottom. It is also important to note that the ad is in color.

2) What do they signify?
Perhaps the most obvious meaning that the half-naked young man conveys is sex and beauty. With the red-nail polish feet and black wedge heels (cultural indicators of a female), the audience can assume that the two legs belong to a young, fashionable woman about to engage in flirtatious physical activity. With just her polished toes and fancy shoes, these pairs of legs signify femininity, style, and sex as well. The vibrancy of the gold chains on the shoes also signifies glamour and luxury.

3) What meaning does that assign to the product?
With such an advertisement, it is clear that Tom Ford hopes for his shoes to convey sex appeal, glamour, and luxury. In contemporary society, flirting and hooking up with attractive people is deemed as fun and seductive, and this ad definitely taps into this young adult mindset by associating such behavior with his shoes.

4) What social values/norms does this promote?
While this ad appears controversial in that it promotes the social norm of sex among young adults, it is important to remember that advertisements tend to preserve existing cultural values and power relationships. This ad maintains the value of heterosexuality as well as the social norm for female beauty; to be deemed attractive, women must fit a certain mold; being Caucasian, thin, and stylishly well groomed are all elements of this mold and can be seen by just the two legs of the woman.

5) Are there particular social groups that the ad speaks to? Not speak to?
This ad would speak to the young and most likely single women of society looking to be fashionable and attractive. Young adult men may also find the ad sexually appealing, and could possibly be consumers of the shoes for their girlfriends or wives hoping for the same sexual desire the ad conveys. The ad also speaks to heterosexuals. Thus, the advertisement does not speak to the very young and very older generations of society who are not at the point in their lives of seeking sexual rendezvous or prioritizing high fashion and style. In addition, this ad does not speak to homosexuals.

6) What are the possible alternate interpretations?
Given that we can only see a small portion of the female model’s legs, the advertisement plays on the audience’s imagination; that is, various interpretations can be taken in terms of what exactly is going on. Perhaps they are not about to engage in sexual activity. One could think of various reasons as to why a female would be in that position. However, given that the man is naked, it is hard to presume a situation without sex. Yet, because the advertisement doesn’t specify what Tom Ford is promoting, people may interpret the product differently. Some men may think that the ad could be promoting a men’s cologne or hair product given the prominent image of a man. Or, women may think this is an advertisement for nail polish.

PBS Frontline, “The Merchants of Cool”

http://sellsellblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/advertising-greatness-2-avis.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Football season was in full swing. The top contenders for the Superbowl were battling it out for the chance to try and fight for a coveted Superbowl ring. Fans took sides and rivalry was reaching its peak. It was game time and everyone knew it, especially Bud Light, who created an advertisement campaign with the slogan “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” in reference to the superstitions and rituals every die-hard fan practices when their team is up.

 

The thirty-second commercial that aired all throughout the NFL playoffs is set to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and includes a montage of different superstitions fans partake it, whether it be snapping fingers, stomping feet, or, as the company hopes, popping open a bottle or can of refreshing Bud Light beer.

budThe advertisement in itself gains strength and meaning from various sources: the men gathered together at a local sports bar; the tailgaters with their beers extended towards the center of the group, heads bowed as if in prayer; the anxious and excited feeling that comes with a close game, barely able to look through parted fingers if a touchdown has been made; the idea of community and togetherness that comes from not only watching the game as a group, but as a group joined by good beer. There is a sense of shared identity that persists through every single scene in the commercial. They are all watching their team play and they all have a Bud Light in hand. They are all practicing their own little ritual. This is the exact feeling or setting that the company hopes the audience will relate to, if not emulate. In ending the commercial with the text budlight-3“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work” (what Roland Barthes would coin as “anchoring text”) the company seems to interpellate the audience by saying that they understand whatever personal game time tradition the viewer might have, no matter how quirky. It’s the idea that as long as the team you are rooting for wins, nothing is too strange. This creates a one-on-one connection with the viewer, establishing a sense of knowing and familiarity. By extension, Bud Light becomes a familiar presence and almost seeks entry into the game day process, becoming an insider in the viewer’s specific tradition. While one might argue that this excludes non-ritual bearing audiences, but the commercial almost calls such fans to start up their own tradition, and to start it with Bud Light.

Furthermore, in terms of the shared sense of identity within the commercial, that identity reaches beyond its frames and reaches out to the audience. The commercial highlights a commonality between football fans, creating an imagined community of fanatics or what Daniel Boorstin would define as a “consumption community.” Despite never having met any of the actors in the commercial or perhaps any of the other ceremony practicing football fans, the commercial allows for a shared understanding between all such audiences, almost as insider knowledge or true dedication to a team. Even the song choice plays into the idea of an imagined community as even anyone who is familiar with the song (which is assumed to be the majority of the population as it is one of the most famous songs in American pop history) can relate to the commercial on a certain level.

By using specific keys or signifiers Bud Light was able to craft a shared identity between football fans alike, whether they actually practiced game day traditions or not. It was able to anchor itself as a part of the imagined tradition and effectively created a lasting impression, weaving its way into coolers and refrigerators across America.

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One notable advertisement is the Dove, “For Real Women, By Real Women” commercial. This commercial is part of a larger campaign by Dove, which includes commercials and magazine advertisements selling their beauty bar and body wash.  These ads place emphasis on “real women” by portraying a diverse group of women that are all different shapes and sizes as well as ethnicities. In this specific commercial, natural looking women with no makeup on are inviting other women around the country to take part in Dove’s campaign by uploading photos of themselves and their “beautiful skin” to Dove’s website, which could potentially be used in future Dove advertisements.

A very important aspect of this ad, as well as other contemporary advertisements, is its interactivity.  Nowadays, advertisers want to get the audience involved in an attempt to create a movement around their product.  Dove, especially, wants the participation of women around the country to help them build their brand as well as build a community around their products.  By creating a website, they are using the accessibility of the internet to help market their products.  In regards to using the internet for advertising, “the new emphasis is on the ‘pull’ or creativity, as audiences are provided the opportunity to engage with the message instead of simply enduring it” (Leiss 345).  In other words, consumers are now able to use the internet in order to choose to opt in to different advertisements or campaigns.  In this case, women are encouraged to go to Dove’s website and participate in uploading photos of themselves.  The internet has greatly shaped the way in which advertisements function in that the consumer is now able interact with certain ads. Furthermore, the same product can be advertised across multiple platforms such as television, print, and the internet in order to maximize the amount of people that come into contact with it.

Additionally, this ad taps into the concept of a niche audience.  Historically, due to demassification, “the media system fragmented, designing itself for penetrating finer niche audiences” (Leiss 333). With television and magazines, came the idea that advertisers were actually able to target specific demographics by placing their ads on specific television channels or in certain magazine publications. In this case, the Dove commercial obviously isn’t directed at men but specifically it is directed at adult women and would be placed on television channels that women would most likely watch as well as magazines that only women read. Furthermore, these Dove ads are rejecting the stereotypical scary-skinny models that are usually pictured in high fashion advertisements on billboards as well as in women’s magazines. It seems as though Dove wants to basically recreate our society’s image of beauty by focusing on a more diverse group of women and the reality that all women are beautiful, no matter what color, size, or shape. For many women, this type of advertisement may be a breath of fresh air compared to the majority of ads throughout the media that depict the stereotypical size zero model.  These Dove ads are aimed at “real” women and encourage all women to love themselves and their bodies as well as become a part of the Dove community.

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-Brittany Welch

Humour was huge, they played on a social norm(how you have to be quiet in a library) and was very satirical in nature. It played on the whole idea of being a “cookie” person or a “cream” person, which implied that the consumer in question had the opportunity to identify with the product, creating an either/or situation, rather than a yes/no. This points to choice and possibly lifestyle diversity, along with the formation of imagined communities, or “consumption communities” as Boorstin points out. It’s more of a micro community within the community of Oreo consumers. In the book they mention how the post modern consumer is “hyper aware” of the game itself, so humor and satire are used to obviously point out the game, while simultaneously creating social capital and value.(305) The value in and of itself stems from the advertising, creating a sliver/screenshot of a reality in which such a thing is possible, and while it’s ludicrous to think that regardless of what specifically happens in a library, that you’d have to whisper no matter what, it is a play on our societal values, which as hyper aware consumers, love to see brands and companies who “get it”. Not only do we agree to play the game, we feel like those big businesses “get us” and understand where we are coming from, thus further lowering our guards.

The way the Oreo team incorporated social media via Twitter by telling people to tweet which side they were on was engaging as well, but nothing compared to how they completely owned the SuperBowl during the blackout with this ad. They had a “15 person social media team” that was able to create ads and respond to anything that happened during the Super Bowl in “10 mins or less”(Wired Magazine). What’s equally amazing is all of the post-superbowl buzz they were getting from huge blogs like Tech Crunch, Mashable, and Buzz Feed. The momentum from last week is still being carried from that special 34 minute opportunity for them. Regardless of what any blog though, whether it was good or bad, praise or criticism, the fact that they were being talked about at all shows that all publicity is good publicity, since it keeps them on our minds. What’s interesting is the fact that who knows if more Oreos were even bought on the Super Bowl, which is the main purpose of advertising and why they do it. Unlike Godaddy, who claimed that after their shock value filled ad, that they had the highest number of sales that day in their company history, it’s highly unlikely that Oreo would even know, or even be able to measure exactly, the “effectiveness” of the ad. Sure it was funny and humorous and heck, I’ve watched it on Youtube at least 3 times, which is more than I could say for any ad, but I haven’t thought to buy any Oreos because of it. Despite the relatable nature of the ad, there is still a disconnect in advertising between exposure, and the actually conscious decision to buy. You can have dozens of Twitter followers and have people hashtagging, but when it comes down to it, Youtube views and tweets won’t get you more sales.