*This is a blog post that I am writing for an assignment in my Advertising class. The assignment was to analyze a type of print ad.*
Sorry this blog post is so long today. We have to evaluate a checklist of items for each ad and assign them a grade, and I wanted to do a thorough job, but it was really difficult to be brief while still examining all of the elements on the checklist. Please stick with me for the next 1300 words, and let me know what you think!
Print Ad: NeatConnect
Found in the February 2014 issue of Inc Magazine
I am giving this ad an “A”.
By analyzing the check list in our textbook, this ad is very effective at making the main point, and getting to it quickly: “Papers/life/data can be simpler and easier with this product.” The ad explains the product is a cloud scanner and digital filing system. The advertisers position the product clearly by offering three major benefits (not features) in the copy. The ad is single-minded because it’s not trying to take too many approaches to convince people why to buy the product. It takes a simple approach of “let me show you how this makes you life easier by making taxes less stressful and allowing you to do more with your data than a typical scanner can.” The brand name is listed up front as it’s on the product image, part of the product name, and located at the bottom of the ad. Customer’s benefits are listed clear as the main points of the ad copy. There’s a simple sentence summarizing each of the three benefits, then another sentence underneath each to clarify and explain. All of the 7 sentences (including the headline) are short and to the point. No words are wasted. The advertiser avoids bragging as there’s no mention of words such as “we” or “our” or “the best”, as well as avoiding cliches. The ad utilizes vivid language by using verbs such as “deduct, saves, transforming, assign, create, export, relax”. The copy also sticks to the present and active tense, which not only makes it easier to read, but also helps audiences to quickly understand why this information is relevant to them. Personal pronouns such as “you” and “your” are found in the ad copy. The only thing I might have taken away a few points on (but not enough to change a letter grade) would have been the punctuation in the middle paragraph of the ad copy. I just don’t like the way they used the punctuation, as I feel like it messed up the sentence flow when I tried to read it out loud. But this is really just a minor, nit-picky sort of thing. (The problem is more likely that I’m a bad reader :)) See the ad with my notes on it below.
Radio Ad: Motel 6
Found on YouTube
I am giving this ad an “B-“.
I’m normally a pretty big fan of the Motel 6 Radio commercials, but this one wasn’t really my favorite. When it comes to making the big idea crystal clear, the ad failed in my opinion. Towards the end, I felt the point was that no matter what’s going on in the world, Motel 6 will still be there for people. But that wasn’t clear until the end. Most of the way through the ad, the audience is busy wondering who Tom is (if they don’t already know about the Motel 6 style of radio ads) and why he’s talking about the Mayan calendar. As for mentioning the advertiser’s name early and often, they actually mention it about 10 seconds in, which isn’t too bad. Although some people will recognize “Tom” as the voice of Motel 6, not everyone will. The commercial does on spend time setting the scene by talking about the Mayan calendar and what it means, but I felt like they didn’t do a great job of giving context at the very beginning. As for using familiar sound effects, the ad uses the same voice that most Motel 6 ads use, but no other sound effects besides gentle, subtle music in the background. They don’t really paint pictures with words. At the end of the ad, I just sort of use my imagination to picture Tom sitting in his room in a Motel 6 with an old Mayan calendar trying to figure out what it means. Overall, the ad did a good job of making every word count. None of the words they used were exactly unnecessary, in fact, at the beginning, they might have wanted to use a few more to give some context. When it comes to being outrageous, this ad will have to receive some high marks, because not every guy on the radio chats about reading Mayan calendars. The ad does ask for the order by encouraging listeners to book the motel. The ad works for local without mentioning the local area, because it’s not targeting a local motel, but rather a chain of motels that can be found anywhere. The presentation is honestly kind of refreshing. I love Tom’s voice as he speaks clearly and articulates himself well and sounds happy and excited, albeit confused while reading a Mayan calendar. Overall, this ad was okay, but if I didn’t normally love Motel 6 commercials and couldn’t recognize that it was a Motel 6 commercial from Tom’s voice, I probably would have changed the radio station before Tom even mentioned Motel 6. However, some listeners may have been intrigued to find out why Tom was reading a Mayan calendar and might have stuck around just out of curiosity. Ultimately, this is really just an opinion. This type of ad could totally appeal to another person, and they could really think that it made an “A”.
Television Ad: Proctor and Gamble Olympic Ad
Found on TV during the Olympics this year
Hands down, I give this an “A+”
I almost feel like a hypocrite, because I find this commercial intriguing because it doesn’t explain itself at the beginning, even though I said that’s what I hated about the Motel 6 ad. However, something is different here, because I’m a little intrigued to see what’s going on with these children falling and why we’re watching a commercial of it. The advertiser doesn’t do a good job of beginning at the finish right at the very start, but the commercial aired during the Olympics, and it doesn’t take long to see kids practicing sports, so there is some context. The attention-getting opening is the fact that children keep falling and their mom keep picking them up. There’s some motivational music going on in the background, so you understand they’re going to make a point with it, but you’re curious as to where it’s going exactly. Viewers can easily identify with the story and the characters, because you see that the story is a of moms helping their children grow and learn and pursue their dream- we can all relate to having a dream and having someone in our lives to pick us up and help us get there. This is an interesting commercial because it’s not promoting a specific product, but rather a brand, Proctor and Gamble. This is institutional advertising. The characters represent the product of achievement and pushing to reach their goals with those who support them in life. It’s very simple. Although the beginning is confusing, you quickly see the point of the ads: as the child is trying to learn and grow, there’s a mom behind him or her, picking them up and supporting them along every step of the way. The audio copy is extremely concise; in fact, there’s hardly any words at all. The demonstration is incredibly dramatic as it shows how a little baby becomes an Olympian athlete, but it’s also believable because you can see each step of the process as they fall and get back up. The scenes move quickly, so it’s not as if you can get bored, but rather you become excited an anticipate the next scene.