Friday, May 15, 2009

“Own Your C” Shows the Light and Dark Sides of Choices

Recently the “Own Your C” commercials have been running with pretty good frequency. The one I’ve noticed the most has a teenage boy throwing his “choices” into the air, only to have them boomerang back and attack him a year later. I thought this was a very good commercial. The strategy was simple and conveyed in a way that was interesting and memorable. After seeing this and the other complimentary commercials, I noticed a pattern. I noticed all of the commercials had a negative tone to them. All of the commercials spoke about negative choices coming back to haunt you. So the other day when I saw the “Tree” version I stopped and thought about which version was more effective.

The negative commercials have fear on their side. When the “Cs” come flying back at the teen that seems to be minding his own business, you get the feeling of fear and shock that the teen is feeling as he crawls into the phone booth for cover. You can picture yourself in that same situation. How many times, especially as a teenager, did you do something that wasn’t the best idea and got away with it? This commercial brings to light that you don’t always get away with it.

The positive commercial does something that is often overlooked when trying to speak to teenagers; it encourages good behavior instead of putting down bad behavior. The commercial depicts a girl nurturing her “C” as it grows into a tall, strong tree. Not only does the tree grow big and strong, it also catches her as she falls out of it. The strategy is easy to comprehend and expressed greatly by the growing tree.

I don’t think one commercial is more effective than the other. They speak to different people and work well together as a rotation. The best part of the campaign to me is they show both sides. They have commercials that show the “dark” side of bad choices and the “bright” side of good choices. I’m also glad they chose to do this in two different commercials. A lot of brands would have tried to put a positive and negative side in one spot, which would have become confusing. Separating the two makes both messages clear and concise.

What do you think about these spots? Do the positive and negative aspects of the two spots work well together?



  1. There is another one running right now, too.

    How do you feel it fits into the positive/negative approach?

  2. I think this is another negative approach. While the out come isn't as scary as the "boomerang" one, they are still showing a negative out come of the person not controlling their choices.

    Thanks for the feedback.