And The Winner Is…

With the Super Bowl being the biggest football game of the year, it’s commercials are highly anticipated by many viewers. Different advertisers compete with each other to have the best ad during the Super Bowl. A lot of money is spent for the ads to be run in the TV during the game. As the time arrives for the game to happen, different commercials begin to be released in order for then to gain exposure and sometimes increase their sales. As the years have gone by, the competition has increased and the ads have become more and more of a spectacle that is highly anticipated by those watching the Super Bowl. Advertisers have to find a way of sending out a message and being creative at the same time.

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After watching the Super Bowl Budweiser’s advertiser, got the best publicity and “buzz” value from its advertising in the Super Bowl. Last’s year Budweiser’s commercial had a theme of “brotherhood” by using a small horse named Clydesdale. Similarly, this year they tried to maintain the same theme by creating a sort of sequel to last’s year ad. This advertiser created a lot of “buzz” because the ad was able to appeal to most of the audience watching the game; kids and adults. They commercial was able to cause “talk” in social media and have many talk about them. During the commercial, they use “Let Her Go” by Passenger which is a song that is very popular today and therefore grabs the attention of the viewers right away. The advertisers ability to create an ad about beer that appeals to all different age groups by using gentle humor has made them be ranked as having one of the greatest commercials for the 2014 Super Bowl.

Despite many advertisers having great commercials during the Super Bowl, Budweiser will likely reap the greatest financial reward in sales as a result of their Super Bowl efforts. During the Super Bowl, many people attend parties and have a lot of food and alcohol. Most of the alcohol that is given in those Super Bowl parties consist of beer. By releasing their commercial days before the Super Bowl aired, those who were hosting parties most likely remembered the Budweiser commercial and had it present when they were buying the beer for their invites. Therefore, Budweiser probably gained a huge amount of sales by being present and making a commercial that people can relate themselves too.

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References 

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Coca Cola Isn’t Puckin’ Around!

#Sochi2014. That’s right. The Olympics are here! Loyola is a multicultural school and so many of us may be united in education, but we’re all rivals for the sports. Team USA is back in the hockey world and ready to avenge their loss to Team Canada from 2010 due to Crosby’s goal. Yes, I’m still bitter about that and I’m a Penguins fan (the Pittsburgh Penguins team captain is Sidney Crosby for those who don’t know).

It’s ok, the rivalry is renewed this year and the US team started out strong with a preliminary butt whoopin’ of Slovakia with a 7-1 win. Despite this, USA has a bit of a rivalry with Team Russia. I never saw the “Miracle on Ice” live, but I can semi re-live it through the movie Miracle. Basically, Russia had a professional team they’d been fielding and winning the gold since 1964. In 1980, the Americans put together a team of college players who ended up beating Russia in Lake Placid. This Saturday (Feb. 15, 2014), Russia and the USA play each other at 6:30am CST.

Capitalizing on this game and rivalry is Coca Cola. Coke, known for making some feel good ads, put together a fun little commercial that has a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut in the International Space Station. They’re both watching USA and Russia play each other in hockey and are drinking Coke. USA scores, the Russian gets angry and sprays his coke in zero gravity. The coke is flying around and the two have to drink up all the coke before it causes damage to the station.

The commercial may have drawn inspiration from the real-life journey of an Olympic torch to the International Space Station (ISS) last November (Pearlman, 2014). It was created by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy (Beltrone, 2014). While Coca Cola has drawn some criticism from their “America is Beautiful” ad, this ad seems to have not had the negative reception their Super Bowl ad did. This hockey one plays off of the Russia and American rivalry which has been fueled further recently by Putin and Obama’s little rivalry.

The meaning behind Coke’s hockey ad campaign is “open happiness” and shows that despite the two rivalries, they can work together and be in peace with Coke being the one to tie them together. Is it cheesy? Maybe, but it’s an effective ad with some humor and an image that coke is so amazing that it brings even the most heated of tensions down. They also seem to be showing that they are an international brand that everyone can enjoy. Whatever Coca-Cola is exactly going for, they are playing on the emotional aspect by capitalizing on the fun and rivalry of the Olympics. To this I say rock on Coca-Cola! Oh, and go #TeamUSA!

 

 

References

Beltrone, G. (2014, February 13). Ad of the day: Coca-cola brings u.s.-russia olympic

rivalry to space astronaut and cosmonaut are bitter enemies (or are they?). AdWeek, Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-cocacola-brings-us-russia-olympic-rivalry-space-155712

Coca-Cola. (Producer). (2014). Coca-Cola – ISS [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsV2OQItnBo

Pearlman, R. (2014, February 10). Coca-cola returns soda to outer space in new olympics ad. Retrieved from http://www.space.com/24637-coca-cola-space-olympics-commercial.html

Bitstrip: A New Way of Personal Storytelling

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The latest trend to sweep Facebook is a new and innovative way for consumers to share their personal stories with friends. Avatar culture has been elevated to a new level: cartoon depictions of your life. Bitstrip is a new cartoon generator on Facebook that allows consumers to create personalized cartoon strips with tailored captions, scenes, and by including friends (Elfring, Comicvine). Bitstrip users can create an avatar that represents them as well as avatars to represent their friends. These cartoons are easily shared on Facebook and depict various storylines from the lives of Bitstrip users (Kurwa, NPR). For example, I will share a personal Bitstrip of mine.

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As seen in the picture above, Bitstrips are completely customizable. Users can search a library of 1,000+ cartoons and customize them. One’s avatar is used. The avatars can be specifically tailored to look like the users. One can change everything from eye color to nose shape to clothing choice (Donna Hamer, Bitstrip Tutorial). The cartoon avatars can later be manipulated into different positions and customized text can be added as a thought bubble or as a caption (Elfring, Comicvine).

Above one can see an example of a Bitstrip with a friend. Taylor-Anne is a cat aficionado in the real world. She genuinely thinks that her friend, Deena, would be a great companion if she were a cat! She is able to share this interest with her Facebook friends by creating a comedic cartoon featuring her friend, Deena. This is a way of engaging the Bitstrip population and creating a story as a way of conveying friendship and a sense of humor. Similarly to storytelling in advertisements, Taylor is using a vehicle to create her own story.

Although Bitstrip was created in January of 2013, it is now becoming popular (De Hoyos, News92fm). Servers were not able to support the mass amount of new users for a few days, with over 5 million hits on Facebook alone. After introducing the mobile app, the app experienced crashes from such high volume visits.

What does this mean to Bitstrip users and how does this relate to Advertising? Bitstrip users offer a new, unique niche to tap into for consumers. This cartoon generator offers a new and exciting way for social network users to share their life stories with their friends. Similar to brand storytelling, consumers can use their personal avatars to express their moods and expand their experiences by including their friends. Because these cartoons are easily accessible to see on social media sites, they are spreading at a viral rate.

Bitstrips offer a unique way for consumers to participate in storytelling. In a way, they are advertising themselves to their friends by adding a multi-dimensional element tot their social network page. With statuses becoming more and more mundane, Bitstrips offer a more interesting platform for personal storytelling. While this application is merely a way for consumers to share their own personal stories, marketers and advertising companies could find a way to sponsor cartoon strip pictures. Because Bitstrips is a method of personal storytelling, advertisers could use this to their advantage by inserting products or services into the already customized cartoon strips. For example, a subtle product placement or the promotion of a certain brand in a cartoon would be an excellent way for an advertising company to reach their audience. Furthermore, an entire network of Facebook users, if shared, would view these cartoon strips. This would both increase brand exposure as well as awareness. This would allow the advertisements to seem natural and would introduce a new platform for reaching users. Because more and more people have become averse to reading traditional forms of advertisement on Facebook, Bitstrip cartoons that are funny yet promoting a product would be shared and enjoyed by social network fans worldwide.

Below is a link to a YouTube tutorial on how to create a Bitstrip. What story will you tell?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeYWS7WsSek

Popcorn Protection Plan

This new piece of data will blow your minds away.

Here is an interesting new finding: eating popcorn in the movie theater makes people immune to advertising! A new study that was conducted by Cologne University has come to the conclusion that chewing makes advertising ineffective when sitting in the movie theater.

A researcher from Berlin has come out to say that “the mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising.”

I usually get irritated when I hear people munching and crunching on their popcorn, but apparently advertisers are beginning to get irritated as well.

The first thing that came to my mind when I was trying to process this study is how

scientists came up with this unique conclusion. A quick summary of the findings suggests that the reason why adverts have the ability to implant brand names into our brains is because our lips and tongues automatically stimulate the pronunciation of a new brand name when we first hear it.

Every time we see the name again, our mouth subconsciously practices the pronunciation of the name and that is how it manages to stick in our heads.

But chewing is disturbing this “inner speech” that advertisers have been using for so long to make us memorize the brand.

There was even an entire experiment where 50 people in a theater were given popcorn and 50 people were given nothing to eat during the show. I always snack on something when I watch previews in the movie theater and I never remember anything being commercialized.

At the end of the screening, there was a test and the study showed that the commercials had no effect on those who were munching on popcorn the entire time.

The man who created this study suggests that his research might in fact be the end of selling traditional popcorn in the movie theater. Any thoughts on that?

I personally think that it is a really out-of-the-box claim to say that popcorn is the reason why advertisements do not sink in our heads. However, I am not a psychology major, so I do not know the extent of this whole “inner speech” thing, but after reading the article in the Guardian I guess it makes sense.

Could food be the ultimate killer for all commercials?

Have advertisements found their ultimate weakness?

Do you guys buy this new study?

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Love and Pasta for All!

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When your competitor slips up and says something offensive or distasteful, it is your job to capitalize on it. And that is exactly what pasta company Bertolli did. 

During an Italian radio interview on September 25, 2013, Italian pasta brand Barilla’s chairman Guido Barilla revealed the fact that he “would never” create an ad featuring a same-sex family (Ad Week). Apparently, Barilla is still stuck in the dark ages because he also implies that his pasta advertising is geared toward the “traditional family”, in which the woman always cooks.  Bad move.  Times have changed and family roles are evolving. Promoting gender roles and marginalizing different groups are sure ways to give your company some negative publicity. 

It’s basically a one-way ticket to doom. 

Hearing of the recent Barilla blunder, competing pasta brand Bertolli ran to the idea board and whipped up an ad to be remembered.

Bertolli quickly created a very simple ad that showed customers that not all companies feel the same way.  A couple of days later, Bertolli debuted a print ad that showed pasta families diving into a bowl of pasta sauce. The pasta families were both same and mixed sex families. Some families had pasta children and one family even had a pasta dog! The print ad debuted with the caption, “ Love an pasta for all!” Brilliant! Quick! In five words, Bertolli managed to capture a fun loving sense of inclusion while producing a quick-witted jab at their competitors. 

I think Bertolli did an excellent job at capitalizing on their competitor’s mistakes. It only takes something small and discrete to make a statement. Bertolli could have easily gone too far with their statement or not far enough by choosing not to say anything at all. 

By putting out a simple print ad, Bertolli showed that they acknowledged their competitors’ comments, but do not want to dwell on their mistakes. The print ad is very simple and not too in your face. I think that’s exactly what an ad like that should be. Bertolli’s ad also looks very effortless. It doesn’t look like they spent days trying to construct the perfect picture. The ad looks like it could have been done with a few stock images of their pasta, and then in paint, by adding some stick arms and legs. 

If a company ever has the advantage of their competitors making a huge mistake or saying something disrespectful or offensive, they must capitalize on it, and do so quickly. Bertolli’s use of a non-aggressive response and playful ad shows that they hold themselves to a different standard than their competitors and run by a different set of values.

References

 Nudd, T. (2013, September 27). Bertolli Makes the Most of Barilla Chairman’s Anti-Gay Comments. Adweek. Retrieved October 8, 2013, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/bertolli-makes-most-barilla-chairmans-anti-gay-comments-152758

Deceptive Food Ads vs. Reality

 

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This is probably one of my favorite articles ever written because I always have seen commercials for McDonalds and Burger King, where the cheeseburgers look like masterpieces, but everyone knows that they come out looking flat and ugly. If you guys have time, watch the video I have attached to this post as well because it shows how much time is put into one picture to Photoshop the burger for McDonald’s to get your mouths watering when you are watching TV. I usually love advertisements and respect the fact that good advertisements have the power to make products and services look appealing to you to get your attention, however I will never support these types of ads. I really hope that people join together to stop these ads from airing!

These types of advertisements are such snakes because the companies blatantly lie to your face and hope that you will believe them and buy their burgers. I have NEVER seen a burger from McDonald’s or burrito from Taco Bell come out to look anywhere near what it looks like on billboards, bus stops, menus or commercials. I know that the old saying, “you get what you pay for” is still valid: a $2 burger should not be expected to look like the fancy, gourmet products that are pictured on the ad.

It is crazy to think that all of the huge fast food restaurants pay a special crew of food stylists, who actually paint the food (sobadsogood.com). These designers and photographers use up all of their energy to create the perfect fake meal to lure you to buy the product. This commercial that is attached is not surprising, because I already knew that it was not accurate to the actual burger you receive, however it is still really disappointing that the company spends millions of dollars to give a salary to people just to deceive the consumer.

I understand that chains like McDonald’s are really trying to drive sales and make the items look as mouth watering as possible, but I think that it is an example of the ugly side of advertising. They should be spending their money on actually improving the items, not improving the Photoshop in the ads! No one wants to feel like they are being fooled and because of that I think that some sort of legislation or law needs to be passed to stop this trickery from happening!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zGj2eVgWI6Q