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Beach (or something like it) Brilliance

April 21, 2010

Corona is so confident with its beers association with the beach that it can have a label-less bottle in its commercial and still be effective.

There is something inherently right about a Corona on a sunny day at the beach. Why is this? Well, it’s really quite simple. Corona has focused solely on associating their beer with the beach. Seems…too simple. Does peripheral route processing ring a bell? For most of us, probably not. Peripheral route processing is a term used in psychology when talking about persuasion. Peripheral route processing uses cues–good-looking women, pro athletes, surreal environments–that trigger acceptance without much thinking. For Corona, the cue is the beach and the vast amount of things that relate to it. The beach isn’t just any beach, its paradise. The commercials also have no spoken words, just a bottle of Corona and a pleasant setting. A reoccurring theme in Corona commercials is the surreal, relaxed, paradise-like beach, attractive woman in a bikini and of course, the Corona.

There are a lot of important components other than the sight of a beach that compels buyers to consider purchasing Corona. Putting an audience into is good mood is key when using peripheral cues to trigger persuasion. What better way to fast track the audience into a pleasant mood than by playing sleep machine music as the audio for the commercial? The only sounds in the commercial are the soft sound of waves washing up onto a beach, a slight breeze, and seagulls. It is all about feelings. Generally, the beach has pretty good feelings associated with it because of warm weather, sunshine, water, fun, and relaxation. Corona emphasizes this in its commercials to play on the psyche of potential customers. Even though people might not see a Corona commercial and immediately want to go to the beach, it doesn’t mean that next time they do go to the beach, or someplace like it, that they wont grab a six-pack. Corona really plays on the situation that the consumer is or should be in while drinking a Corona.

The beach or something like it… What else is in these commercials that program us to associate Corona with the beach (or something like it)? The beach can represent many things that a potential buyer could associate his/her Corona purchase with. Going to the pool is kind of like…going to the beach. Lying out in the sun is kind of like…going to the beach. Relaxing on a warm day is kind of like…going to the beach. Are we seeing a trend here? This is exactly the trend that Corona wants its potential customers to see. If all these things can are kind of like going to the beach then people may be compelled by Corona’s commercials to purchase Corona when doing these things. The association of positive things is the key factor (because we know its not the taste) to Corona’s success.

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The Axe Effect

April 21, 2010
A more appropriate slogan for Axe body spray would be ‘the sex effect’, but then again, they do have their commercials to give viewers the sex effect. Axe commercials don’t really beat around the bush at all when it comes to sex. The sexual innuendos depicted in Axe commercials are impossible to miss (obviously this is done intentionally). We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘sex sells’ but axe seems like they are selling sex, or at least selling the product that guarantees some action. Axe just doesn’t throw the pretty girl out on the television screen to promote its product, they throw the pretty girl out onto the screen to show the audience what girls like her will want to do to guys who wear Axe.
It is blatantly obvious that Axe commercials target males. Males tend to be susceptible to persuasion by scantily clad women and stereotypical fantasy-type situations. Axe commercials often play on the fantasy situation ranging from improbable ways to get a woman’s phone number to having sex with a random woman in an elevator. The depiction of such situations tells men that these things happen if one is to purchase Axe and use it. In the Axe elevator commercial, a guy who looks like a male model sprays Axe on himself then gets off the elevator while another average joe gets on and is accompanied by a beautiful woman who gives off the sexy secretary vibe. True to Axe commercial fashion, it is implied that the average joe gets a quicky in during the elevator ride. So, Axe makes up for sub-supermodel looks? Yes.
By using catchy sexual commercials, Axe markets its products to many different types of men.
Man A, will try anything to get girls, thus the sexual content in the Axe commercial drives him to try Axe. Even if Axe does not get him a girl, there is a good probability that he will continue to use Axe in hopes that one day, the situations depicted in Axe commercials will come true.
Man B, already gets girls and attributes some of this ability to his use of Axe. In this case, the sexual events depicted in the commercials reinforce the reason to purchase Axe.
Man C, gets a confidence boost by using a product that he thinks attracts women because of what he sees in Axe commercials.
The sensationalized situations that Axe bases its commercials off of don’t even have to be taken seriously for the marketing strategy to work. Do men really hit the deodorant isle and consider which fragrance is going to get them the most sex? Maybe, but probably not. More realistically, a guy would stand around in the isle for a minute or two starring aimlessly at the hundreds or cans of body spray and possibly grab the Axe. Why? Because of the cool “man” commercial he had seen a few days earlier showing a guy hooking up with hot random girls due to the irresistible axe fragrance radiating from his body.
Regardless of whether buyers of Axe bought it because they thought it was going to get them some ass or just because the commercials are provocative and entertaining, the rhetorical strategy used for sale of Axe products is sex, plain and simple.

The Cute Factor

April 21, 2010

Are these little guys cute enough for you to spend $14,000?

I first noticed the Kia Soul from its rather odd commercial. The typical car commercial shows features, crash test ratings, and financing options. Kia takes a different approach. The car looks remote controlled, the driver and passengers are hamsters and there is not much useful information contained in the commercial. What exactly is Kia getting at in this commercial?

We come to what I like to call, the cute factor. The cute factor has nothing to do with features or financing options and everything to do with a car that looks like it could only fit…hamsters?

So, what elements of this commercial fall into the cute factor category? Well, we can start at the beginning. The first thing the audience sees is what looks to be suburbia. Who lives in suburbia? White, middle-class folks–maybe the kind that buys cute Kia Souls for their daughters.

The perfect candidates for a Kia Soul purchase...

Suburbia also represents a sense of normality and comfort. Comfort is an important thing for a company to give to its potential customers. If someone feels uncomfortable with a product, he/she is most likely not going to buy it. The Soul commercial doesn’t show a lot of the car so what is there to be uncomfortable about? And, with those cute little hamsters running around everywhere, uncomfortable is probably the last thing someone is feeling (unless you have a hamster phobia of course).

After the suburbia scene, we are taken into the city where there are nothing but hamsters running on their hamster wheels. This is meant to represent the difference between the Kia Soul and every other car on the street. Kia is saying that all cars on the road are the same except the Soul. I would have to agree seeing as how I don’t know a lot of cars that can be driven by hamsters… Anyways, we get the point. Don’t be the same as everybody else. Or even, don’t be as predictable as a hamster when buying a car. In other words, choose something that is out of the ordinary and unique. The next thing we see is the cute factor grand finale. A little red car pulls up to reveal three little hamsters jamming out to some tunes (cue “awwww”s here). All the hamsters have facial expressions that make it seem like they are having fun. The music in the background is upbeat as well, contributing to the good mood that Kia is trying to pass along to the viewers. The color of the car is also very important. Females tend to prefer warmer colors such as red. Red can also represent love–girls will love this cute little red car with dancing hamsters driving it.

It is not until the end of the commercial that the audience is explicitly informed that the spectacle they just witnessed was in fact a car commercial. The cute factor grabs attention and the peculiar sight of hamsters driving a car creates a unique experience that is sure to stick in viewer’s head. Kia uses upbeat music, dancing hamsters and a cute little red car to try and disassociate the seriousness that comes with buying a vehicle.