The Anti-Ad Ad

They are the most irritating, and mind-numbing things you never pay attention to. They are something dark, something foul, something evil… of course I’m talking about commercials on TV. The far to frequent clips of useless information whose only purpose is to sever the continuity in which you watch the program you actually want to. Think about the amount of TV you could actually watch if you didn’t have to endure the agony of advertisement. Commercials are one of this world’s biggest preventable travesties, that is, unless they are done right.

Millions of Americans are pissed when bad commercials  interrupt their shows, so ad companies have to do something drastic to make up for the populations displeasure. A common commercial scheme to alleviate the bad blood is to offer an anti-Ad Advertisment. It is an ad that doesn’t try to sell you their product based on facts or statistics of why it is the best, but they sell you their product based on entertaining you with outlandish commercials. Often times these ads have nothing to do at all with the product, but it just happens to be in the frame. One of my favorite examples of this are the Dos Equis Beer commercials featuring the one and only most interesting man in the world.

Similar to an argument made by Fredrick Kaufman in the article “Debbie does salad: The Food Network frontiers for pornography” the advertisers are not attempting to convince you with logic but they are appealing to a more basic sense. The consumer desires to be entertained, and it is therefore up to the company to pleasure the consumer with their product. They get us to buy the product because they weren’t trying to directly sell it to us. They made the effort to be extraordinary and entertain us, the viewer, and therefore we, the consumer, purchase their product. It is a very sneaky way to market, but they are giving the consumer what they want. Their goal is to sell as much product as possible, so they attempt to not sell the product to increase sales….. It sounds crazy, so crazy it just might work. It often times does.


The Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa, is seen here in his final personalized video from YouTube.

This strategy does backfire with some audiences. In particular, older generations tend to not care for this type of marketing. It is unconventional and almost considered unprofessional because they don’t market their product practically. Where I see effort displayed in creativity, grandparents see laziness and nonsense.

I buy Old Spice, not because I think the contents of its bottle can actually turn me into a raven like Ray Lewis, or make me incredible handsome while riding a horse backwards with tickets that turn to diamonds. I buy it to reward their ingenuity, as recompense for their care in crafting an original ad to satisfy me and not infect me.

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