Monthly Archives: January 2012

Toyota Prius V: More Efficient

For a car that has gotten a lot of poor labels attached to it such as boring and ugly, the commercial promoting it is the exact opposite.

As soon as this commercial comes on, the atmosphere takes over. The viewer becomes enthralled in the new world that they have now entered. Although it is a cartoonish world to say the least, Toyota does a good job of taking the concept and running with it. They didn’t cut any corners with immersing the viewer in this new world. The part that ties the whole ad together is how they make it relatable to the common person. Everyone, at one point or another, has gone to the beach, had a picnic or has packed the car for a trip. Anyone watching can see themselves owning this car, doing the things in life that they want to do.

The attention to detail was simply amazing. Even after watching these 30 seconds about 10 times, I am sure that I didn’t see all of the small things that we moving around. But I did catch in the first scene we can see a small gnome hopping around, in the beach scene the girl in the back seat is showing off her reclining seat, and in the kite scene we can see all the interesting looking bird houses. These little parts continue to add to the world that they created, which makes for a great commercial.

I am always going to zone in on the fact that car commercials shouldn’t sell the car, they should sell the experience a customer can have after buying the car. This ad does just that, it offers up many places that the car can be used and on top of that it incorporates the features of the car, such as the large truck space, into a realistic example.

In a Sherlock Holmes movie or book, the ending makes the overall story so much better as a whole and the same goes for this commercial’s ending. As soon as the narrator begins to speak, we can start to notice that the scenes are very much attached to each other which breaks the illusion that they are all separate places. The atmosphere is broken and allows us to focus on the product the ad is centered around. All of these parts of the commercial make a great short story that we don’t want to end. Yet, the story doesn’t have to end there you can continue to enjoy the story if you buy the car (or at least that is what Toyota wants you to think).

Another key feature to this ad is the song. The job of finding the song to put in a commercial is no easy task because it can make or break the final project. The song Toyota chose, Come Along by Fabienne Delsol was the perfect fit because it helps the viewer to truly get immersed. With a great song, comes the ability to remember it. I found myself singing this song in my head even after I was done watching Tv. Since I could remember the song, I could remember the commercial and in turn, the product. The person who found this song and put it in the ad should get a raise.

This commercial is fantastic but the one thing that I think is lacking is how it fast it is. I would have extended it to 45 seconds so that the ending didn’t have to be so rushed. It was a great ending but adding those seconds would have given it a better overall feel. With this in mind, I am going to give this ad a 9 out of 10. The creativity was enough to fill a couple of commercials, the story made me want to keep watching and I am still singing away to that song.

Here is a link to the other Prius V commercial which is also an amazing ad. And here is a link to a behind the scenes video of these two commercials.


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Good Ol’ Bob’s Discount Furniture

Bob chose a commercial layout many years ago and he ran with it. Any commercial you see on Tv from Bob’s Discount Furniture is more or less the same each and every time. There are few changes between them and the two most common concepts are that his prices are lower than the competition and that his products are better quality. In this particular commercial, he is pushing both ideas.

When a customer goes in to buy a piece of furniture they are looking for the cheapest one while still retaining the quality of the piece. With this in mind it makes sense that Bob and his advertising crew have capitalized on this logical thinking, yet that is all they have, straight logical thinking. This leaves little to, in this case, no room for creativity in the commercial. No thought was put into this ad. They put the new product into their commercial layout and this is what came out of the other side. It gets the job done as an ad but with no creativity this makes for a forgetful commercial.

Anyone can think to put the product and the president of the company in front of a white background with a script resembling the work of a group of 5th graders. Some commercials are made by the local part of a company, which would explain why the commercial looks so mediocre but Bob’s Discount Furniture chain is still expanding today and their commercials need to grow with it. Right now Bob’s commercials fall into the local category and they need to improve to enter the national category. A category and a level in terms of their company that they want to be in at some point in the near future.

I should mention that putting the companies CEO, president, or any other director in the commercial is not a bad idea, it worked very well for Sprint last year, but the way they do it in this example is terrible. Bob is the face of the company and a viewer can’t even see his actual face in this ad, the only face you can see is his cartoonish face in the lower right corner. The cartoon is even blurry at best, rendering having the face of the company a meaningless addition to this commercial. With only 15-30 seconds in an ad, every piece needs to be important and stand out, the mental image that needs to be put into the viewers minds can’t even be seen, let alone remembered.

Giving this commercial a score higher than a 3 would be disrespectful to even the commercials that have/will earn/ed a 4 or 5. There is no creativity, no way to remember it and it feels that it was thrown together in a single weekend. Judging by Bob’s finances, there is no reason they should be skimping on their commercials. Advertising is one of the most important things for a company and their revenue can very well suffer in the long run if they do not invest the money now. It is clear that they have made an example of what there commercials have been and they want to keep the layout the same for creating their long-lasting image. The only problem is they have settled on a substandard idea of a good company image.



Sprint: iPhone 4S

Sprint is doing a good job of advertising the fact that they now sell an iPhone that works on their network and the commercials are great. I use great very loosely though, in this commercial there are some factors that bother me.

Did you catch the mistakes? Don’t worry if you didn’t, one is a simple wording error and the other is not commonly known.

“There are over a half a million apps on the iPhone.” I don’t know about your iPhone, but I know on mine, which is the 16 Gb version, I don’t have half a million apps on it. I don’t even think I could fit 100 apps on my phone. The fact that there are over 500 thousand apps on the App Store is a different story entirely. The simple wording error is a small mistake, but coming from a company such as Sprint, there is no reason for a mistake like this.

I want to stress the word simple on the last mistake because the other mistake is not so simple. At the end of this commercial the narrator says the line, “Truly unlimited data for your iPhone.” If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago about this fact, I would have agreed with it but I recently learned that Sprint no longer offers ‘truly’ unlimited data. Their CEO Dan Hesse said himself that they throttle, or control, the top 1% and how much data they use. Even though they are only throttling 1% of their users, they are still throttling their users and saying in their commercial that they are offering ‘truly unlimited data’ is false advertising at its finest.

Besides these two unfortunate mistakes, the rest of the commercial has a lot of quality to it and has a great ending. A majority of the commercial is showing a fraction of the variety of apps that the iPhone can use, which shows how great of a phone it is, leading to a great selling point. The narrator then goes on to say how a user can take these apps any where they want to go and use them to their fullest with ‘unlimited’ data. With this layout, the two aspects of this commercial are very complimentary of each other, making a great commercial.

One of the factors that I always look for in a commercial is if there is a remembrance factor to it and that is exactly what the little kid, playing on his parent’s iPhone does. It is a very common occurrence that a child is playing one his parent’s phone and since this particular kid as cute as he is, that is what makes this commercial as great as it is.

I very much wanted this commercial to be as good as it could have been since they had a great layout and had a great ending on it but I can not ignore the fact that Sprint made some big mistakes. If there were no mistakes I would give this commercial an 8 or a 9 but due to the mistakes I have to only give it a 5. I don’t understand how they are getting away with this false advertising and maybe it will not get aired anymore but due be warned that no company offers truly unlimited data.



Reese’s Perfect Combination

Reese’s knows what they are doing when they make a commercial for their beloved Reese’s peanut butter cup. They have had this series of commercials since the mid-2000’s and each one has been amazing. Although they are simple, they do exactly what they are designed to do and that is to remind people how good their product is.

This is a favorable approach because they get the viewer’s attention. In this specific commercial they are asking a question and the viewer will want to know the answer so they have to continue to watch the rest of the 15 seconds. Being that they are airing to serve as a reminder, they are very simple which any viewer can easily grasp and understand. They didn’t take any risks for this series and that is because they don’t have to. Reese’s has a quality product that 9 out of 10 people know off-hand, so risking a new commercial series isn’t worth the small increase in sales that they might experience.

Although this seems like a perfect commercial, it is lacking in a key area. This area being the fact that the typical viewer will not remember this commercial by the time the Tv show they are watching comes back on. If the viewer can’t remember the product then airing this commercial was a waste of money. Money that could have gone into making this commercial have that extra factor to make it stick inside of the viewers head. Not only this commercial, but all of the commercials in this series are the same way, in that they are good but there is nothing special about them.

Beyond the series as a whole, this commercial has a great line in it that you can see in the thumbnail of the video before you hit play. “Are combined perfectly” serves two great purposes. The first being mentioned above in capturing the viewer’s attention and the second being linking the concept of the commercial to the company’s motto of “Perfect”. It is no coincidence that the commercial series and the motto are simple at their core and this works to their advantage in creating a good commercial.

Even though it is a ‘good’ commercial in how simple and easy to understand as it is, I have to give this commercial a 7. It was knocked down from a 10 to a 7 because of the fact that this is a long series and if a company is going to have a series they need to keep it interesting so that the customers keep coming. Reese’s will continue to fade away until they change their concept for their commercials. With that said, they have created a solid commercial that almost gets the job done perfectly of reaching its customers.



Ford F-150

For a couple of years now, Ford has switched its ad campaign for its F-150 trucks to a word based, fast paced kind of ad. Take a look at one of the many from last year.

As I mentioned above, Ford switched their campaign from the typical test based ad to this word based ad and I think that the change was a great idea. I am a fan of test based ads for how well they show the strength, speed, efficiency, etc of the product but at the same time they can be easily staged to get the desired results. Even if the results are not staged, the average person will question it which leads them to not looking in to the product more or ultimately buying it. This type of ad shows undisputed facts in a clean and interesting way.

I want to stress the word clean because when I watch one of these F-150 commercials I can easily read the text that is being displayed and I can also see what is going on with the truck all while listening to the narrator. I have seen too many commercials where the text is too small, too light of a color or is only presented for a short amount of time. If the creators put the text in the commercial, I, an average reader in terms of speed, should be able to read everything that is displayed (with exception to the fine print on the bottom of the screen).

The overall feel of the commercial is clearly geared towards men, which makes sense for a couple of reasons. The first being the product; trucks are thought of as tough and powerful just how the typical man is thought of so putting the two together is clearly the right move. Since men the ones buying the trucks, when this commercial comes up during a football game on Sunday when these men are not hard at work, it makes complete sense. Ford has found their target audience and has gone after them, which only adds to the quality of this commercial series.

On top of the timing, the content of the commercial makes this better than the rest. From the start they have gotten the viewer’s attention with a simple ‘Hey’, although it is simple, it works. From there the narrator offers up a quick joke about the kiddy menu to keep your attention on the commercial. Then they finish their attempt at getting the viewers commercial with a fast paced graphic of an engine and the great features that this particular engine. Since the commercial has grabbed the viewer now, they don’t have to keep going with the same speed, they can slow down and introduce ‘less exciting’ topic of the engineers who made the engine. Then it finishes off with a couple of quick facts that try to sell the deal.

Because of how well Ford used the 30 seconds they had, the timing of the actual commercial, and the quality that they made it I have to give this commercial an 8. It caught my attention and it kept my attention while selling their product. That is the sole purpose of a commercial and they hit the nail right on the head with this one. To be honest I haven’t seen this commercial on Tv for a couple of weeks but since it was so rememberable I was able to think of it and use it for todays review. I can’t give it a 9 or 10 because it didn’t have that extra ‘wow factor’ that made me want to the see the commercial again and again. With that said, I wouldn’t mind watching this commercial again and I would definitely choose watching this over a commercial…


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