Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Perfectly Targeted Natural Light Commercial

I saw this commercial over the weekend and I was immediately hit with a flashback. I could smell the aroma of stale, three day old beer. The image of waking up to roommates and other people I didn’t know sleeping on the floor. I was brought back to a simpler time in my life. A time when a 12 pack of Natural Light was dinner on a Friday night. A time when I would sit on the couch and have beers thrown at me so I didn’t have to get up. As I watched this commercial I felt like they had rewound my college life and put it on TV.

Natural Light has put a spot light on their target audience with this commercial. There are no fancy parties, no glasses of wine, there isn’t even a bottle of beer in this commercial. Natural Light in a can is joke to many people. To their target audience a Natty Light in a can is an inexpensive, crisp, clean tasting night with your friends. You don’t have to worry about which fork to use, or which glass in front of you is for water. You sit back and enjoy the beer and your friends.

The natapult is a great extension of the emotional connection formed by the commercial. I can remember multiple times when I didn’t want to get up at a party or while watching a football game because I knew my seat would be stolen while I grabbed another beer or some more chips. This commercial puts a humorous yet realistic spin on a situation the target audience can relate to.

This commercial is perfectly targeted for the Natural Light audience. I was captured the second the commercial came on TV. However, it is very heavy on the emotional connection. Having a rational connection mixed in may have made the commercial a little stronger for a viewer who doesn’t have the strong connection to the product that I do.

What do you think about this commercial? Does it have the same effect on someone who doesn’t have a strong previous connection with the brand?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nationwide Insurance iPhone App Commercial Misplaced

Recently Nationwide Insurance has been running a commercial on TV touting its car accident iPhone app and everything it can do. I think this app is a great creation. It brands Nationwide. It shows their current customers that they care enough to go the extra mile and create something specifically for them. It also shows prospective customers that they have something other insurance companies don’t. I just don’t understand why they would spend the money to make and air an entire TV commercial dedicated to this app.

I’m not against TV. I think TV advertising has its place and will for a long time. But it should speak to the people watching TV. Most people watching TV don’t have an iPhone or interest in the technology. I think Nationwide would have been better suited with a rational benefit to draw in a wider swath of people and drive them to their website. Once you get them to the website, you can drive people interested in the iPhone and the app to a special section that explains everything available in the app. By doing this you don’t exclude the non iPhone bunch right off the bat.

As a complement to the new TV commercial, Nationwide could run banners on technology centered websites that would be more likely to have people who are interested in an iPhone app. This way the TV commercial reaches a wider audience while still appealing to technology fans by driving them to the website. At the same time they are more focused with their app centered advertising instead of wasting that media space.

You can check out the spot here.

What do you think about this TV spot? Is it a good use of TV space?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Local Friday – Neighborhood Traffic Calming by The City of Greeley

For this week’s Local Friday post I am focusing on a great local commercial done by the City of Greeley to support their Neighborhood Traffic Calming program. For the most part, public service type commercials aren’t very interesting and quickly forgotten. This commercial is different. It is a great commercial because it links the emotional and rational benefits of the commercial for an informative and lasting impression on the viewer.

The goal of this program is to “enhance neighborhood livability and sense of community by reducing excessive speeding and excessive vehicle volumes on local service streets”. This is a great goal benefitting entire communities at no cost to the citizens.

The commercial is effective because it starts out by building a relationship between the mother/son and the viewer. Almost everyone can put themselves into the mother’s shoes. You are busy, trying to get to your next task while changing a radio station or taking something out the glove box. When the second boy runs out in front of the car, fear and worry are used as a hook to keep the viewer focused on the commercial. Once the viewer is sucked in, the public service announcement is given.

This style of building the anticipation then delivering the message to the viewer works better than coming on to the screen and talking about the message. It’s very easy to tune out a message when you have no connection to it. By building an emotional benefit into the beginning of the spot, the rational benefit is more impactful.

What do you think about this commercial? Do public service style commercials get their point across?


Check out the Neighborhood Traffic Calming program here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

GMC Sierra's Resume Has One Hole

As parent company GM is in the midst of pulling itself out of bankruptcy, they have created a very effective commercial for the GMC Sierra. This commercial does a great job of combining emotional and rational events from their history. As each notch in their “resume” rolls by on screen the viewer is shown the great efforts that GMC has been a part of. Unfortunately GMC only focuses on the past and not where they are going.

The great part of this commercial is the emotional and rational connection that is made by showing all of the great moments that GMC has been a part of. Each event not only shows the toughness and ruggedness that was needed to complete the project, it is also an iconic memory in the building of this country. This commercial shows that when you buy a GMC Sierra not only are you buying a tough, dependable truck, you are also buying a piece of American history.

The only draw back to this commercial is that they only focus on the past. While GM is trying to rework its business and make it a profitable company once again, we are reinded that their past is what has them in this position right now. I would have liked to see them say something about the future. What are they doing to the new Sierra to make it a better truck for the future? How will I know that this Sierra is better than the previous ones that no one was buying?

Overall this is a good commercial that does a good job of capitalizing on the impressive past of GMC. To put it over the top I would have liked to see something about the future of GMC and how the new Sierra will be better than its predecessor.

What do you think about this commercial? How could they have made it better?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old School Thursday - Lil' Penny

In honor of the Lebron James/Kobe Bryant Nike commercials being made irrelevant by the Orland Magic knocking the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the playoffs, I thought I would take a look at the original Nike puppet commercial, Lil’ Penny. These series of commercials were full of star power and humor. While they were light on in your face promotion of Nike products, they stuck in the minds of the target audience. Very similar to the Lebron/Kobe commercials, Nike benefits from attaching their logo to the star power of the people/puppets in their commercials.

This commercial was everything I wanted when I was 10 years old. Penny Hardaway was a great basketball player, had a hilarious side kick constantly cracking jokes, beautiful women and most importantly the hottest shoes around. I remember running around the playground yelling “the secret service couldn’t guard me” as I made a lay up. Now that I look at it from an advertising perspective these commercials did a great job of creating an emotional connection. There isn’t a very big rational connection because they don’t need one. The emotional connection was strong enough to make me want to be Penny and wear his shoes.

The Lebron/Kobe commercials are very similar to the Lil’ Penny originals. These commercials also rely on the emotional connection over the rational. The commercial doesn’t contain any technology or value messages that give you a reason to buy Nike products. They are relying on that same emotional connection they made with me when I was 10 years old. I can imagine a 10-year-old kid running around a playground in Cleveland yelling “playoffs” as he puts up jumpers. It doesn’t matter that the only shoe shown in the entire commercial is a puppet shoe. The consumer connects Nike, Lebron and Kobe together in their memory. Not because Nike reminds the consumer of Lebron and Kobe, because Lebron and Kobe reminds the consumer of Nike.

I’ve said before, that in down economic times, companies need to give consumers a rational benefit, be it value or other, if they expect someone to spend the money they are so dearly holding on to. These commercials don’t do that so I don’t think they are exceptional commercials for this current economy. If Nike is willing to ride out this down time and focus on the emotional connection with their consumers, these commercials do a great job of that.

As for the Lil’ Penny commercials, they will forever be ingrained in my mind as a fond memory from my childhood and as an argument in favor of a strong emotional connection lasting a long time.

What do you think about these commercials? Does the emotional connection work like it did with me?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Third Party Frenzy

During economic down times consumers become skeptical of companies selling to them. As a counter to this protectionist way of thinking two companies have gone to third party companies to back up their claims and supply extra credibility. They combine the reputation of the third party companies with a simple to understand main idea. By doing this they lower the iron curtain of skepticism and allow the consumer to see the benefits that are being offered.

This T-Mobile commercial has a simple premise. People are paying too much for their cell phones. They wrap the message in comedic packaging with the story of sending auditors to people’s houses to show them how much they are over spending. And when that doesn’t work, they send in their beautiful spokesperson. The comedic topping to the commercial does a nice job of making you smile, but the main idea is what really sticks with you. T-Mobile will save you money and you don’t have to listen to us, check out for proof.

The Honda commercial works off the same idea as the T-Mobile commercial. They give you the reasons why people buy Honda and stay with Honda. They focus on rational reasons to buy a Honda which work well during down economic times. But since they are so heavy on rational reasons they need some back up to prove they are a good as they say they are. They decided to go with to prove their story. This third party reinforcement is even a little stronger than T-Mobile’s because Edmunds to more well know and will grab the attention of the consumer easier.

Both of these companies are saying, we have a better product and will save you money and we can prove it. This is a very strong message in a time like this.

What do you think about these spots? Does it matter which third party proof a company uses if they choose to go this route?