Analysis of 2 radio commercials. Retro and modern

Commercial radios are radios that aren’t public. An example of a public radio station is The BBC. Commercial radios make their profit mostly from playing commercials on their airwaves. Of all the output of a commercial radio, 20% of it is dedicated to commercials. A typical commercial hour is 48 minutes, as the remaining 12 minutes are dedicated to adverts, with each advert generally being 30 or 60 seconds long. Commercials generally serve two purposes: to earn money for the radio station and to promote the sales of the product. Ofcom is the regulatory body incharge of looking after what adverts the public sees and what is generally broadcast. Some bigger radio stations actually have their own in-house marketing teams that create adverts for companies to put on the air. However as some smaller stations cannot afford this privilage, their adverts get sent to them.

This advert uses a mixture of different tactics regularly used in advertising. The most noticeable tactic used in this advert is called “Celebrity Endorsement”. Celebrity Endorsement is where celebrity, in this case Mr. T, endorses or promotes a product. This is a very clever and easy to use tactic as even if your advert is terrible, it will still be successful to a certain extent because of the celebrity. The other tactic used in this advert is the very obvious tactic of humour. Humour is effective because when the consumer is in the shop looking at a snickers bar, they will think of the humour used in the advert instead. The down-side to this is that there is little information given about the product. This, however is not a problem because the snickers brand is a well-known brand. Snickers started back in 1930 and was marketed as Marathon in the U.K until 1990 when it changed to Snickers, so Snickers has been around for twenty-two years.
The advert starts out with some SFX re-inacting a phone call between two people. This beginning captures the attention of the audience because it’s not something you would expect to hear on the radio. Instead of music, or talking you hear a ringing tone. The two people are then engaged in a fairly monotone conversation. The reason the conversation is  fairly boring is so the next bit jumps out at the audience even more. In the following section it is then revealed that one of the men is Mr. T. This is a clever way of introducing the “celebrity”, regardless of whether you love or hate Mr. T, the audience will be surprised to hear this boring conversation turn into this strange rant from him. The reason Mr. T is used is because of the brand that he carries. The roles that Mr. T is most commonly known as are; his role in The A-Team and Rocky. In these roles, Mr. T plays the same type of character, the same type of character that is also voiced in this advert.  Mr. T only then talks about the product once and is only one of two instances that the actual word “Snickers” is spoken. The Snickers tag-line is then spoken “Get Some Nuts”. This slogan has been around since 2006 and as such is associated with the Snickers brand. At the end of the advertisement a man then tells the audience to go to the Snickers website for more “man” stuff. This is a regular occurrence of radio adverts to try and cram a large amount of information into the end of the advert.
The Snickers advert tries to appeal to the audience of men. This is shown through their constant reiteration of being “manly” through the advert. An instance of this occurring is when Mr. T tells the caller that he needs to “use the fact he’s a man” to sort out how to assemble his kitchen. Whilst this is a good idea, it alienates an entire market, women.
Why Mr. T?

The next advert I’m reviewing is a 2010 advert for Subway. 

The advert consists of no sound effects, low background music and just one VO.
The advert starts with a interesting voice asking the audience “Are you hungry?”. If Subway were to play this commercial at the peak of rush hour around dinner time or around noon the advert would affect a larger amount of people as this is around the time that people look to find food. The advert then proceeds to use the humour tactic, continuing with a another rhetorical question, this time a little more ridiculous. This displays Subways as a fun brand and also grabs the audience’s attention again.. The VO on the commercial then becomes a little more energetic and adds some more weight to the voice. This will make the audience pay even closer attention as they will want to see what the male voice-over is  sounding so passionate about. The advert then brings in some music and the VO then talks about some of the products that Subway offer as well as using some loaded language. Loaded language is language that, when used, has connotations that we then automatically associate with the product. For example in this advert the VO mentions “scrumptious toasties”. The connotations of the word “scrumptious” generally mean that the food is beyond appetising, that it is truly delicious. Subway is trying to get us to believe that it’s food is really worth buying. After the VO reels off a list of products that Subway is offering, it then states that they are “from 89 pence”. This is clever marketing from Subway as the average listener will only pick up on, or remember 89 pence, so when they think where to eat, they think that the items listed on the advert are all 89 pence. At the time of releasing this commercial, only the toasties were 89 pence, the rest of the items were 10 pence or more higher. In reality, the rest of the snacks could have been £20 and Subway would still have been telling the truth. This tactic from Subway is called “bait and switch”. The VO then tries to inject some more humour into the advert before finally stating the name of the company and their slogan “Eat Fresh”. Although discreet, the commercial is actually voiced by a celebrity, Rich Fulcher, most famous for being a cast member in the Tv programme “The Mighty Boosh”. His following will pick up on this as they are mostly from Britain and may buy Subway products as he is selling them. This is a very subtle way of Subway employing another tactic into their commercial “Celebrity Endorsement”.
Although the humour tactic doesn’t offer much space for information, I feel as though the advert did what it was supposed to do, promote Subway’s snack range. It also told me the price range that the snacks start from and where to get them. The “bait and switch” tactic was used effectively as the audience will presume that all the snacks are around 89 pence. Another side effect of saying “89 pence” and taking off the extra penny is that the audience don’t realise it is closer to 80 pence than 90. The advert also doesn’t tell me what sort of establishment Subway is, however it doesn’t need to as Subway is an established brand.

Hypnosis type stuffs, don’t listen to the voices in your head.
3 Act Structure
They give you a question, answer it for you and make you think you was asking the question.
Being hungry is a human condition, it will happen eventually and once it does you will think Subway in the future.

The next set of adverts that I am going to be reviewing are the retro adverts.

This advert is a vintage advert created in 1935 to promote the Dodge airglide ride. the Dodge car range is a car range produced by Chrysler and was a major seller in the 1930’s-40’s. Chrysler was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler, who bought Dodge in 1928. The advert consists of two men having an ordinary conversation about love and how it is to be with a girl. This is a tactic called glittering generalities. As the duo in the advertisement are talking about love and talking about how it is to be in love, the audience will now associate that feeling with the Dodge brand. The main VO in the commercial is also bragging about how the male is good-looking. The audience will also now associate good-looking guys with the Dodge “airglide ride”. The advert is generally a successful one The advert is 60 seconds long and gives out a large amount of information about the car it is trying to promote. It gives the price, where to get it whilst giving the company name several times.

The next advert is an advert for “jello” or jelly as it is called in Britain. This advert along with many other adverts in it’s time use a catchy tune to try and draw in an audience. Back in the 50’s, when this advert was released, that was what audiences listened to the most and what was most popular.  Although it does not  many of the tactics of modern day commercials, it did do a good job at making me remember Jello as they mentioned it several times. They also created a catchy tune that at the time was in the style of popular music. However from that commercial I do not know where I can buy jello from or how much it costs and although it does say it is the “big red writing”, it is not enough for me to identify what the product actually looks like. The only tactic I can pick out in this advert is “glittering generalities”. The commercial talks about being part of the Jello “family”. Although it is not explicitly stated this now ties Jello with a family feeling, and creates the image of families sitting down to enjoy some jello together.

In conclusion much has changed in commercials over the years. The have continued to innovate and change the way we think about things. From my research older, vintage adverts tended to have more songs and catchy tunes in them, where as newer fresher adverts tended to use more loaded language and more humour.

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