Thursday, October 23, 2008

Did I Say Group Enough?

The ad I chose to analyze is a commercial made for television that can be found on The commercial is from the UK and is for a cell phone plan known as “Talk Talk“. The premise of the ad a group of people form various shapes while a camera films the shape they are making from a bird’s eye view. A narrator walks the viewer through the how each shape correlates with their message. The group makes a heart, an arrow, various human figures, a stroller, a phone, a face talking into a phone, and finally the plan title Talk Talk. The commercial closes with both text on the screen and the narrator saying the product’s tagline “Let’s do it together.” The desire that the commercial is trying to get across is that it wants you want to become part of their group.

The first half of the commercial is devoted to positive things that, presumably, people would want to be. It starts by using people to make the shape of a heart, which is then split by an arrow of people to form two hearts. Over this visual the narrator says “People in love.” I think it’s fair to speculate that everyone would like to be in love, and this is a phone plan is for them. The shot cuts to people making to human figures holding hands and waving to one another while a narrator says “Good friends.” So even if you’re not in love and just have good friends, this phone plan is also for you. The next shot is a group of people assembling a stroller while your friend and humble narrator says, “New mums.” There is a definite respect for mothers in our society (presuming that they aren’t fifteen and in high school) and people generally find babies adorable and being a new parent is a positive ideal all around. The commercial’s final example of parties who would be interested in this plan is as the narrator puts it, “Families.” The shape-making group of people forms two human figures tossing a ball back and forth, and the ball is made of two people spinning together. The ideal family is considered a happy part of life that brings people comfort and structure in their lives, so if you’ve ever at any point in your life been part of a family this phone plan is for you. The point all of these examples are trying to make is that their phone plan is good for anyone and everyone. You belong to this group of phone users. “Whoever you are, when you join Talk Talk…” The second half of the commercial is more business oriented in the sense that it actually tells you what the commercial is trying to market instead of just giving more examples of positive groupings of people. The group of people makes a phone (both the part you talk into and the console) and another shot with the shape-making people creating a face talking into a phone. I thought it was particularly clever that they used a bush for the face’s hair. Over these shots the narrator talks about the plan and how you can make free call to the other people in the groups you belong to. The commercial ends with the plan’s title and the tagline or catchphrase “Let’s do it together.” This line makes the point of all the people making shapes, doing something together.

The advertisement I chose to support the concepts of the Talk Talk ad is PC’s response commercial to Mac’s attack ads against PCs. Although the products are different, the both commercials are centered on the idea of belonging to a group. In this case it’s a group of PC users who come from very diverse backgrounds and careers saying that they’re PCs [users]. The commercial is trying to instill a desire to be part of this group of individuals who each do what they want to do in life. These people use PCs, and they are cool and interesting people, don’t you want to be one too?

All advertisements want to create a sense of desire in the viewer, usually beyond that of simply a desire to buy the marketed product. Both of these commercials make the viewer desire to become part of a group of positive, interesting individuals. Commercials frequently try to make the viewer feel accepted and that they belong to something bigger than themselves. They make the viewer feel that they are important and special, and most of all should buy their product because it will simultaneously make you special and part of a group.

Nelson Schneider
TA: Kate B.

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