Commercials you don't 'get'

There’s recurring threads here about commercials you hate. This thread is about commercials you don’t understand. Commercials that make you scratch your head and say, “WTF?” or “How is that supposed to make want to buy this product?”.

I’ll start with one that drives me crazy - Hillshire Farms. OK so first off, what’s with the Military cadence tie in? They’ve used it before but I don’t get what it has to do with sausages or grilling. If they have big military customer base why not just use people in uniform and if they are marketing to me, what about me as a surrogate boot camp trainee is supposed to make me want to try their product?

Second, if their slogan was “When I say Hillshire Farms you say Great Meat” I could understand it. But how does linking the first word in their company name to the second make me equate it with good meat (“When I say Hillshire, you say Farms”)?

And lastly, why would identify with these two doufuses at all?
(Bonus points for figuring out who is speaking - the sausage or the grill)
So what commercial(s) do you not get?

The infamous Cadbury’s chocolate “drumming gorilla” advert.

Never seen that one but yeah, don’t get it.

You don’t have to get it – you remember the product, don’t you? The Cadbury one is almost four years old, but people still remember it.

This Volvo C70 commercial where two women parked in identical cars switch clothes.

I remember the commercial but certainly not the car. To find the clip I went looking for “commercial women switch clothes in car” and found a ton of posts that said something like “what’s that cool song in the commercial about women switching clothes in some car I don’t remember?”

There is nothing in the commercial that would make you remember the name of the car or some feature of the car or would make you want to go buy a car. Women taking off their clothes would even tend to draw your attention away from the car. And, frankly the first few times I saw it, I couldn’t even figure why they were changing their clothes or what the plot was.

The gorilla commercial somehow made me remember Cadbury, but a minute after watching the Volvo commercial, I had no idea what brand they were advertising.

I would venture to say that the cadence in which they do their commercials is less military based and more pep squad/cheerleader based. If it was military based I would assume it would be more of a “hup one-two-three-four” rhythm, I have always thought from the beginning that they were going for almost a cheerleader mentality with their commercials, however YMMV

This is what I came in to say. And even if it’s a military cadence, it’s not promoting the military - it’s promoting the sausages. Because cadences and cheers are 1) easy to remember, 2) express interest in a particular thing and 3) are a silly over-the-top way to get excited about bratwurst.

Any of the free credit report song ads that suggest if you knew your credit score was bad, you would have a totally different life.

I’ve asked that question many times, and I always got the same answer: If you don’t get it, that means that you are not one of the sort of people that the advertisers are aiming for.

I never really liked that answer. In fact, to say that I resented it would be an understatement. But then something happened which turned me around 180 degrees. You see, it would be fair to say that I hardly ever get car ads. I can’t figure out why the advertiser think this ad would make someone buy their car. The ad is totally glitzy, all art and zero substance, and a total insult to anyone’s intelligence. I’m a very practical kind of guy, and a pretty ad tells me nothing about the car. And then one day I saw this commercial for a Hummer. Everything that I complain about car commercials applies to this one to, except for one difference: I liked it - loved it! - because this time, they were aiming for me.

It’s more complicated than that. A good commercial should not only inform you about the product, but make you like the brand as well. A bad but memorable commercial will just result in my knowing about a product that I refuse to buy.

The Cadbury commercial with the drumming gorilla was about building their brand and barely at all about a specific product (Dairy Milk?). To the people who do like the idea of a chocolate company going to the trouble of making a commercial with a drumming gorilla who really loves Phil Collins, it says, “We understand the sort of things you like. We like the same sort of things you like.”. That can be more compelling than any claim about a particular product. The Hummer commercial that Keeve likes is another good example of this.

This style of commercial can even be used to assign different “qualities” to near-identical competing products. Coca-cola traditionally celebrates friendship and community, while Pepsi generally celebrates individuality.

The new Microsoft commercials. “This person doesn’t think they need a new PC. So… we built a PC store in their house!”. You… wait, you what? You converted their house into a… PC store? Really? That was the BEST way you could think to convince someone they needed a new computer? Is that really supposed to be entertaining and/or convincing to the rest of us? It seems so random and odd to me. I don’t understand who this is supposed to be appealing to.

The only one that’s semi true is the one where he married the girl with horrible credit. They couldn’t get a loan for a house.

Jeez, hasn’t that old chestnut been put to rest? Sure, I remember Cadbury. I associate their chocolate with a dirty, hairy beast doing a very disturbing human imitation. Next time I’m in the store buying chocolate, I’ll remember Cadbury as the one brand I’ll be sure not to buy. I really don’t think that’s what the advertisers intended me to remember.

I really don’t know why I come into these threads because the amount of eye rolling makes my head hurt.

There’s no such thing as a perfect ad. Any advertiser that thinks that they get every viewer to like the ad that they make is lying to themselves. The Cadbury commercial has over five million views on YouTube. Of the people who have rated it 96% liked it. That’s a ridiculously good ad.

Also, there seems to be a general assumption that the only purpose of advertising is to sell more product.

Please enlighten me. What are the other purposes?

Or are you considering “general brand loyalty” to be different than “selling more product”?

Microsoft’s ‘Cloud’ commercial that shows a woman at the airport connecting to her home PC to copy/paste a movie to the desktop of her laptop.

Leaving aside if this is even practical over an airport wi-fi connection, they demonstrate how cool cloud computing is with an example that is pretty much the exact opposite of how the ‘cloud’ works.

What I really like about this commercial is that they DIDN’T build a PC store in her house. They set out a bunch of PCs on a table and they took down a few hanging frames and put up shelving that they propped a few PCs on.

Or the one where the woman edits pictures over “The Cloud.” Yes, it’s a better use of the word “Cloud” as it’s an actual Cloud-based program. But in the time it would take her to edit the picture so it looked good, she could have taken 100 more shots. At least.

Not to sidetrack this thread but I particularly dislike that ad because basically the woman is more concerned with how her family presents itself on her Facebook page than reality. I actually posted a thread about it when the ad first appeared.

I guarantee that fake husband of hers is cheating on her with a woman from a different commercial.

Wow. You got all that from what should be a pretty innoccuous “family portrait” commercial. And I’m not sure why Facebook raises your ire when family portraits have been around forever. I’ve got one of my family (my entire extended family) that was taken in 1989 before Mark Zuckerburg was even born.

And I’ll bet they existed before then too.