Value proposition in commercials – favorites of 2010
Big companies spend big money – sometimes outrageous sums of money – on advertising. Fortune 2000 companies, especially those in the B2C and/or CPG space, spend much of it on traditional advertising channels such as TV, radio and newspapers.
The global advertising market equates to a cool $450 billion, with online advertising adding up to just about $50 billion. This means that traditional advertising channels still dominate the world.
After reading a recent Forrester report on how Americans and Canadians now spend as much time on the Internet as they spend watching TV; I did some internet trolling to see how exactly advertising spend is split between online and offline in North America.
Turns out – online advertising spend has skyrocketed in the last year, however traditional advertising still dominates. In the spirit of traditional advertising still having merit and the beginning of another great new year, I have put together my top 3 favourite commercials of 2010. The criteria for this short-list was simple: commercials should have articulated value proposition simply and succinctly while capturing the attention of the intended audience.
Ads that use humor and outrageous visuals usually do jump to the top of advertising ranking lists and opinion polls. Although these types of ads are certainly effective in the delivery of shock value and their capacity to go viral; their long-term ability to actually affect decision-making is not as strong as ads that clearly articulate the product or service value proposition. Our list showcases the latter.
# 3: Discover card
This commercial addresses a real problem that many consumers face – common frustrations with credit card customer service and rewards. The commercial was curiously funny and memorable with clever use of a character named ‘Peggy’ who is an unsavvy Customer Service Rep based out of some godforsaken town, with little or no understanding of the concept of customer service.
While emphasizing the difference good and timely customer service can make, the ad clearly articulated the core value prop: credit card rewards, that actually reward you. The commercial also discreetly and cleverly says we’re not like other cards as well as you deserve better.
# 2: Dr. Scholls fast flats for her
This one was a bit personal because I actually do quite often face the problem of feet aching due to walking/ dancing in heels. The ad not only grabbed my attention by displaying a real world situation but by also giving me a viable solution in a jiffy.
The commercial articulated the core value prop succinctly: women dont have to sacrifice comfort in order to be fashion forward. Moreover, the commercial showed the realism of the solution by showcasing the foldable, rollable and compact nature of these stylish flats, thereby cementing the value-prop in my mind.
#1: 2011 Lincoln MKZ
I really have to hand it to this commercial. When I saw this for the first time, I couldn’t be further from their typical target audience. I am not the average Lincoln buyer and this commercial STILL grabbed my attention and made me contemplate checking out the car. The thought of buying a big manly sedan had never crossed my mind especially since I usually drive around narrow city streets. So when I first saw this commercial and immediately googled ‘2011 MKZ’ to gauge pricing, features etc; I couldn’t believe my own actions!
What did this commercial do right? Well, for starters they casted Mad Men actor John Slatterly, quickly pulling in an audience that might typically not pay attention to a Lincoln commercial, aka female. The commercial then proceeded to show a bunch of neat features in less than 10 secs, cleverly pointing out the generous use of new technology that was driver-centric as well as showcasing the hybrid nature of the sedan; thereby setting it apart from other luxury vehicles. Add to it a hard-hitting, modern and inspiring house beat by Massive Attack. Suddenly, this manly sedan seemed very smart, confident and environmentally friendly to me!
The best part was that the entire commercial maintained amazing brand continuity – it started with the MKZ logo on the back of the car and ended with the distinctive Lincoln logo deconstruction at the very end of the ad. Very beautifully done.
You know, buying a car is the second largest purchase we make in our life (after our home) and most of us like to think very carefully about it. For this reason, selling cars cars is an extremely complex art – many different subjective things affect our buying decision; and the 2011 MKZ commercial gets top spot because it was able to convince me, an outlier (not their typical buyer), to be intrigued enough to look for pricing after one single viewing of the commercial.
If you liked this fun little post, you can continue your procrastination by checking out some extremely silly print ads here.