Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've got People

Agencies trying to sell products use tactics and one of the greatest ways to sell products is by using celebrities. The celebrities become the spokesperson for the company’s product and if the product is good enough for a celebrity, then it should be a well-made product that anyone will would want to use. In the case of the American Express commercials, the use of the celebrities show what kind of credit card company they’ll trust to take care of everything for them. A goal of advertisements is to sell their product by appealing to the masses and the majority of people dream of having a more “celebrity” life. The appealing part of the American Express ads is the celebrity and how they go through their glamorous days using the credit card and then the dreamers think to themselves that if they used the same credit card they might get a little closer towards being more “celebrity.” Using a celebrity will help the product they are promoting to sell better because it makes people believe that the product must be good if a celebrity is using it.
The first ad I chose was the American Express ad with Kate Winslet. The greatest part of this ad, for me, is how she is listing off what age she was and the role she played, but not by fully stating it. For example, she says, “ By 19, I was penniless and heartbroken,” as she’s lifting up Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility where Kate plays Marianne Dashwood. The references to the roles she is playing is slightly confusing at first because it makes one wonder what product she is promoting. Then finally at the end of the commercial she says, “My real life doesn't need any extra drama that’s why my card is American Express,” finally showing the product and also saying that with the big dramatic life that she has to deal with, her credit card company helps her with the stuff she doesn’t want to worry about.
The desires being created in the commercial is to lead an exciting life just like Kate Winslet and at the same time not having to worry about the extra stuff because you will have “people” to take care of it for you. This ad creates this desire by having all of Kate Winslet’s more famous roles being stated while using visual hints to match the statements. Then also there is a bus that goes by with a picture of Kate Winslet on it from a magazine where she looks glamorous and the picture is screaming at you “SHE’S FAMOUS!!!” and this is the famous desire being created in the viewer.
The second ad relating to Kate Winslet’s American Express commercial is a different American Express commercial with Ellen Degeneres and Beyonce Knowles. This ad has Ellen trying to call her “people” to go to Beyonce’s concert and then she figures out who her people are. The voice over of Ellen says, “The people who can get me into the shows I want to get into. That’s why I’m a card member.” Her “people” is really American Express because she knows that she can trust them to get her what she wants. The second ad relates to the first because Kate Winslet’s ad has her implying about the people at American Express being able to take care of things for her while Ellen Degeneres goes on a hunt for her people and then coming into the conclusion of the American Express people always being her people that she turns to. The desires in this ad also like the first because it makes the viewer want to also have people to be able to get them into shows and like in the first ad, take care of the extra drama.
With the help of celebrities, products become more popular because most celebrities are high-class people that are constantly idolized. With them being idolized, “normal” people want to be just like their idols and use the products that their idols use. With a natural human desire to be glamorous, people will try anything to achieve that goal.

Kaitlyn Murray
TA Kate Brandt

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