I’m one of those guys who does NOT change channels when a commercial comes on. Instead, I love them. I study them, analyze them, figure which ones work (and why) and which ones bomb (and why). Most of all, I learn from them. Here are two that tickle me silly:
AFLAC. In this marketeer’s opinion, the best series of commercials of the decade come from AFLAC. They took a stodgy insurance company with middle-of-the-road products and created a brand so powerful that everyone knows who they are. (It helps to combine an animal, a funny noise and mini-vignettes.)
The best part about AFLAC (and, no I’m not paid to promote them) is that they have created a perfect marriage between the name and the brand. With a lot commercials, even the memorable ones, the viewer often has no idea who the advertiser is. With AFLAC, you can’t say the name without sounding like a duck … and knowing exactly who put out that commercial. Pure brilliance.
Subaru. The key to sales these days is to build a relationship between the product or service and the customer. There’s a new Subaru commercial out that does just that: A guy drives into a junk yard to get his appointment book from the back of his wrecked Subaru. As he does so, he wistfully looks at the car, and you can tell there’s something on his mind.
The best part: He has pulled up in the exact same car – make, model, color. The commercial silently – and powerfully — drives home the depth of the relationship. As he fetches his belongings, he thinks in a voice-over that this crumpled up car saved his life. As one final gesture, he reaches through the driver window and unscrews the gear shift knob (A memento? A keepsake? Doesn’t matter.) before getting back into his new – remember, identical – Subaru. Talk about a relationship between man and machine!
The bottom line: Even when you’re crashing in front of the TV, study what works and what doesn’t. If you like a commercial – if it grabs you – think about why and how. Then consider how you can roll some aspect of it into your own company’s marketing and advertising.
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