February 2008

 A girl walks up to a guy in a convenience store buying beer and asks if he wants to go to a party and hang out with her. Once the guy starts talking back he realizes she is actually talking on her bluetooth headset and the guy is embarrassed and the girl is annoyed. When they get up to the register you here the girl apologizing, once the guy responds, you see once again that the girl is talking on her headset, not to the guy. 

 In his article on the Six Tugs of War, Williams describes an emotional ad as one that builds “on the customer’s own experience while subtly inserting a new perspective. As a result of this new found perspective, the customer will have new feelings attached to the product or service featured in the ad. Psychologists call the “associative memory””. This is exactly what this beer commercial is doing, it uses a common experience so the customer can relate to the product.  

The tag line for the commercial is “You can’t always be smooth, but your beer should be”.  With that in mind, the commercial is trying to create a positive association of “smoothness” with their beer, an attribute the customer might not have without the beer. (although I think we all know that beer can make people stupid and clumsy even though they might think they are smooth!) I think this commercial is a perfect example of intelligence vs. emotion. It plays on the emotions of the viewer in more ways than one.

  First of all, haven’t we all mistaken someone talking on their bluetooth for talking to us? I know I have, and every time it happens I feel embarrassed for making the mistake and annoyed at the person for letting me think they were talking to me! So when I watch this commercial I can relate this guys experience with experiences of my own. While this particular situation has not happened to me, it builds on my experience with the feeling.

 Second of all, the commercial does not only focus on emotion. At the very end it adds in new information about the specially designed cans that improve freshness and smoothness. I think this is an excellent touch. The viewer is reassured that no matter what they do they are guaranteed a fresh and smooth beer.   

This commercial is connecting to emotions of the customer while at the same time speaking to their intellect by providing them with new product information.  


According to Tide, stains have mouths, loud screeching voices, and can cost you a job interview! A man’s voice is totally over powered in a by the annoying voice of the large brown stain on the front of his shirt in his job interview. I’m guessing he didn’t get the job…

This is a commercial that can make the audience laugh while at the same time bring up a self-conscious issue.

I know I am always uncomfortable when I have a visible stain on my clothes, I feel like everyone can see it, but I usually assure myself, and am assured by friends that no one will notice the stain. This ad illustrates that other people DO notice small things like stains and that they can be a major distraction, and the deciding factor in whether the man in the commercial not getting the job.

This commercial is effective by demonstrating the consequences of not using the product and the humor definitely makes the commercial stick in my mind. The ad also brings up a website that viewers can go to after watching the commercial. This website is dedicated to the stain commercial, complete with a chance to get famous, watch the commercial again, win prizes and download “talking stain” ringtones, desktop wallpaper, an mp3, and a buddy icon. I don’t think I know anyone who would acutally download any of those things, but I bet there are tons of people out there who would, at least it gets them hits on the website makes the $2.8 million they spent on the ad go a little further!

I don’t really know, from the commercial, what the benefits of using Tide over another laundry detergent or stain remover are, but I just might add stain remover to my shopping list so I can avoid a situation like the commercial presents!