Archived Story

Commercials can have a big impact

Published 6:00am Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I took a marketing class while I was at UNA and I did not get a lot out of it. Most of the blame in that statement lies with me, as I did not pay attention (or go to class) as much as I could have. In my defense, what was taught to us in class was not on the test, so there was no reason to go other than to say you had.

One of the things we talked about in that class was advertising, including in television commercials. Television saw its inception in the 1950s and commercials soon followed. I remember watching old cartoon reruns from the decade and seeing subliminal advertisements hidden in the picture.

One Looney Tunes cartoon had the word “smoke” flash in bubble letters on the side of a train for just a second or two, but I definitely saw it. Commercials have come a long way from interrupting actual shows like they used to. Now television stations sell time for commercials during regular breaks in the shows.

These advertisements have a direct effect on consumers in some instances, including in my case. I began using AXE products because of the commercials. I used their products exclusively as body spray and anti-perspirant throughout high school. But then, it happened. Old Spice decided to hit back with its own awesome commercials. They hired an actor name Isaiah Mustafa to play a character known as “The Man Your Man Cold Smell Like.” The tickets are now diamonds. Look down. Look up. He’s on a horse. Plus, I bet you just read that part in his voice.

His commercials were the only reason I switched to Old Spice products over AXE. I actually went into Walmart’s body wash section and picked up an Old Spice product over AXE because of the commercials. I even went so far as to say in my head that the commercials caused me to switch at that time.

Mustafa’s first commercial ran on February 8, 2010, the day after Super Bowl XLIV. There have been several follow-ups to the original commercial, including Mustafa, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and comedic actor Terry Crews. Be sure to watch out for swan dives, building kicks, explosions and universes in these commercials.
The point is that commercials can have a direct effect on how consumers spend their money. Most commercials suck, but there are those that are pretty awesome, usually because they are funny. I do not drink beer, but beer commercials are the absolute funniest ones out there, closely followed by Coke Zero and Doritos. Some people act like birds when they get a craving for Doritos.

If a commercial is funny, it has a much better chance of getting me to do something or buy a product. If a product’s commercial is lame or sucks hardcore, then you can bet I will mute the television, change the channel or poke massive fun of the bad advertisement. Here’s looking at you, scientists. Da-da-da-duh-duh-da.

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