blogitto ergo sum

April 24, 2011

#178- How sweet is this M&M ad?

there’s something about TV ads.  don’t deny it; i know you watch.  OK, if you have to, go ahead and deny it.  interestingly enough, some TV ads work, make us laugh, are great fun to watch…  while some are so bad that i may rush from the other room to FFW the DVR or flip a channel to avoid listening to that dose of stupidity, obnoxiousness or whatever. I don’t pretend to know how it works for you, i don’t even always know what makes an ad work for me…  there are some personal, cultural, educational, national components that may explain part of it.  but really how does it work?  clearly, it’s not the big budget that makes an ad successful.  personally, an obnoxious enough TV ad will ensure that I’ll avoid the product to the best of my ability.  latest example is the “Crystal Geyser Please!”  got it; you bottle on site, great.  how many times per evening do i need to be reminded of it?! and do i really care about your value chain or bottle route?  NO!

as far as I’m concerned, if the owners of a brand sign off and approve an annoying, obnoxious TV ad, or decide to launch a sensory attack on me,

what other bad judgment calls they make?  do i trust these guys? after all, they chose to brand their product in what i perceive to be as an insult to our intelligence; a waste of our time.  do you hear me annoying lady in pink of T-Mobile?

what makes an ad a good one?  there’s no single simple answer.  many say it is the innovative and creative idea that makes an advertisement appealing to the audience.  but there’s much more to it than that.  for example:

  • the right graphics.  small graphics may make the commercial uninteresting.  too big and the commercial may look cheesy
  • length of commercial. too long and we lose interest after a short time period. A  rather short ad that gets straight to the point makes a TV commercial a good one. if an ad can keep us interested for the duration AND get the point across in under one minute – that’s a good one
  • the right characters.  good characters create an excellent commercial. Familiar characters can have a positive result on spectators. picking incorrect characters can truly make a TV commercial uninteresting, lame, or plain bad
  • arouses visual engagement. best tested by turning the sound off and if  ad has the same visual effect then it’s on to something
  • inspires trust, confidence, and believability
  • provides a single consistent message that penetrates the prospect’s mind and stays there for a while

i can’t say i agree with all of the above, but who am i to know…

Microsoft’s Cloud ads overload triggered my anti ad mode.  I didn’t flinch at the CEO serving lattes as his day job ad was aired.  but from the mother that can’t let her family be as-is and has to “edit” them to fit the  perfect family image she must show the world to the couple stuck at the airport, these are, wait….


annoyed enough?  not yet? wait.  here comes even more ANNOYING

As i said before, cultural, personal, gender, religion… all these introduce  biases that play a significant role in determining the reaction to an ad by one ethnic, socio-economic, demographic segment or another.  the more heterogeneous the audience is, the harder it is to be spot-in.  personally, i prefer the funny, creative, not-so-realistic ones over the “identify with us; this could be you, buy whatever we push and you’ll live happily ever after” ads.  i love an ad with a punch line or a twist that surprises me, makes me laugh.  a good ad should be fun to watch.  if it’s information only, I’d want you to play with the setting, background or something to counter-balance the education you want to deliver.  Honda’s Really Big Thing was doing well with the BIG promotion, but over doing it, much too often and making one listen to the message again and again just killed it.

how can you compare the above ads with this one?

disclosure: i own their Scala Rider Q2 Pro BT headset, but i did find this great ad while searching for ads to make my point about creative, out-of-the-box ads that deliver a message that sticks.
what does the M&Ms title got to do with all this? a whole lot.  it was their imaginative, funny campaign which i haven’t got tired of [yet] that got me thinking about TV ads and their effectiveness.  to be honest, it did more than that, the ads promoting the new M&M pretzel version were so effective and funny that i ended up LOOKING for it @ the supermarket.  sadly, once tasted – no further purchasing is to be expected.  but, it this campaign got me to try it.  and simply put, i can’t think of any other TV ad in recent years that influenced any purchasing decision i made.  to get one to ACT on an ad IS the ultimate success criteria of a TV ad.

here are two of my favorites:

this year’s best, the one that should get awards if my opinion counts, is this one.  laugh out loud.



  1. Hey, the T-Mobile woman is hot! She deserves to be on!

    Comment by Bill — April 24, 2011 @ 23:16 | Reply

    • regardless of what her assets are, intellectual and others, she may just as well assume the stereotypical role of a blond. don’t jump, i said STEREOTYPICAL; says nothing about real blonds who are smart enough not to believe the stereotype.

      Comment by yael wagner — April 24, 2011 @ 23:44 | Reply

  2. I’m also sort of a commercial enthusiast and like to keep an eye out for the good ones.

    I liked the family phot one though, I can relate to it.

    Comment by Jesse — April 25, 2011 @ 09:25 | Reply

    • 😉 i understand. i like to see [and state] things as they are, not too “edited”. after all, it’s not a commercial marketing campaign, it’s a family photo to share w/friends & family. WRT good ones, any good one that comes to your mind?

      Comment by yael wagner — April 25, 2011 @ 10:06 | Reply

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