Advertising for our times

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Jeeves, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I've been tracking North American culture through television advertising for half a century.
    Like the authorities, advertisers were caught off-guard by this pandemic thingie - a full month into universal panic mode and non-stop news coverage of abso-bloody-lutely-nothing-else, advertisements continued pretty much as routine, urging us to go do things and buy things we obviously can't do and buy.
    I wondered how they would eventually react.
    The first thing I noticed was a Subaru ad, replaced by a thank-you message to front-line workers. A
    The Brick hopes we'll come back, after, and take advantage of their deferred payment plan. C-
    Ikea celebrates the home in gently modified terms B+
    Tim Horton shows a manically happy girl with no mask or shield at the takeout window. D
    The very best ad is from Vision Network. It says:
    "For the first time in history
    we have a chance to save the human race
    by lying in front of the tv
    and doing nothing.
    Let's not screw this up!" A+
    Gradually, something else changed. I began to wonder what that strange sensations was, like the absence of a chronic pain... It finally dawned on me: I haven't wanted to throw the Trivago guy off his hotel balcony for over a week! Yea!!

    Have you been bored enough to watch television?
    Do you want to grade an advertisement?
     
    DaveC426913 likes this.
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Other than the Timmy's ad, I haven't seen any March-2020 ads up here in Hockeymooseland.
     
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I tend to take in only bite-sized morsels of news coverage anymore (and usually stick to Netflix or Prime for legit series/shows), but have seen a few commercials - and there seems to be a theme emerging of looking after employees and not obsessing over financial bottom lines, and investors. I hope that this sentiment sticks long after COVID19 is over - and that it doesn't just persist as a sentiment, but as a new way of life.

    It's interesting that so many Americans rallied against raising minimum wage to $15 per hour, yet these are now the ''essential workers'' on the front line of this crisis. Hmm.
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I wish! Out in the boonies, we have to budget our bandwidth, else at the end of the month, our business internet connection slows to a crawl. I live in constant dread of Microsoft "update" dumps.
    Which also means that for entertainment I'm pretty much stuck with the commercial networks - which are more annoying every day. They don't just have nearly as much time devoted to ads as to programs, now they're routinely throwing their own horn-blowing on top of the scheduled show.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Let's be real. The reason that some are staying home is to prevent overload of the hospitals. If the same number of people were going to get the virus but over a longer period of time, these would be called cashiers and not essential workers just as they are during every flu season.

    Many of those staying at home are going to eventually be infected but hopefully the hospital system will be more able to handle the load.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Even so, a number of large corporations are changing their television ads to reflect some appropriate sentiment, policy or attitude. How they change it and what position they take is interesting to me.
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    In these trying times, The London Times will be trying its best to keep you informed.

    At Safeway, our employees are the true heros, thank you Safeway employees and thank you for your service.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, if those were ads on television, did you grade them? If so, by what criteria?
    Audi has a text one now, encouraging people to distance. No great feat of creativity, but okay on attitude. C+
    I guess it would be difficult to produce the usual sort of tv ad in the current climate. I'm curious to see what they can do with text and graphics.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    One basic principle of TV advertising is to promote exactly what your product is not - one of the first and still premier artificial "foods" as "the real thing", say, or a car famous for durability depicted as taking corners fast and accelerating like mad, or healthy food as a treat and vice versa.

    Hard to both 1) restrict car travel to the necessary, which would more often involve passengers, and 2) keep a social distance.
    Maybe show the SUV running errands and doing favors, picking up groceries for the elderly neighbors, which it can do with all that space the kids's hockey team is not allowed to pack into? The suburbanite as doing the right thing unselfishly?
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    That would be reasonable to expect in the long term, when they've had time to re-shoot or edit the footage and record a new voice-over. Film production is made considerably more difficult when the personnel are locked in their homes. They'll need some fancy computer graphics.
    For immediate response, a couple of car companies have settled for a still picture with text printed on it. Not cinematically as exciting as the hairpin turns on a mountain highway, but it exhibits good 'corporate citizenship'. After all, the economy may recover, but dead people buy no cars.
     
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I watched a bit of the news today, and I really like the CV19 commercials that talk about ''everyone being in this together,'' often depicting celebs ''preaching'' the message. I dunno, it's comforting to see ads that are pertinent to the trying times we find ourselves in.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I hope other people find it so.
    My fear is repetition-fatigue. After a while, it's all just noise, you know? Followed by blow-back.
    There comes a moment in the life-cycle of a tv commercial, when people don't just tune it out but actively hate it. It's happened to me with advertised products that I would deliberately avoid buying something just because their ad annoyed me. My fear is overload on the message will start prompting people to do the opposite.
    (We're a fickle species!)
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, Darwinian evolution-in-action will take care of that!

    People who ignore the dangers of Covid-19 will be removed from the gene pool (albeit along with many of their family and friends). Self- correcting problem!
     

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