Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jump In

The advertisement that I chose for this analysis project is a commercial created for the launch of the Xbox 360 gaming platform. The advertisement depicts a large group of people within a city, participating in a large water balloon fight. The entire commercial is only composed of this water balloon fight, and then the logo of Xbox with the tagline “jump in.” The advertisement does not show the viewer what it is promoting, or even describe what it is the company is selling. The company leaves the viewer merely with a logo that lets the viewer know what product is being sold. Although this advertisement is very vague and non-descript, it compels the consumer to desire this product even if they do not understand what is being sold.

In the beginning of the commercial it shows a few children participating in a water balloon fight. As the commercial continues, more and more people join in the balloon fight and by the end the entire city joins in to this game. The idea of everyone wanting to join in this balloon fight is directly connected with what Microsoft wants people to think about the Xbox 360. The company wants the consumers to believe that everyone is joining in and playing this gaming console. It makes consumers think that owning an Xbox 360 makes them part of something larger than themselves, part of a movement that is important. The metaphor of a water balloon fight is a very effective way to get people to buy this product. People connect water balloon fights to simple childhood fun, and Microsoft is clearly saying that the Xbox will give you that same feeling. The advertisement depicts a group of people participating in a fun, spontaneous game. Microsoft wants the consumer to look at this and understand that the Xbox 360 can be as fulfilling and entertaining as a large-scale water balloon fight.

One of the most effective aspects of this advertisement is the enjoyment that the people within the ad are having. All the people that are shown within the water balloon fight are constantly laughing and smiling. Everyone is enjoying their time playing the game and no one dislikes it. Even people that are not part of the game end up joining in and in turn, end up having a good time. This is a very effective marketing tool used by Microsoft. Microsoft shows happy people in the ad that are enjoying their time playing the game, and this tells the consumer that if they play they will be happy also. It creates desire within the consumer and causes them to be compelled to buy the product. The company does this in an indirect way, through the use of the metaphor of a water balloon fight, but it is still very effective. The consumer understands what this metaphor entails and is led to believe that the Xbox 360 will provide an enjoyable and exciting experience. This desire created for the consumer is furthered with the slogan “jump in”. This slogan makes buying and playing an Xbox a completely new and unique experience, and that this experience will be fun and entertaining.

Microsoft created a series of advertisements for their Xbox 360 “Jump In” campaign. In another advisement for this series, the ad shows various people joining in to a game of jump rope. People are compelled to join into the fun and participate in this childhood game. This advertisement is very similar to the water balloon fight ad. It depicts people participating in a simple game and enjoying themselves. Once again the marketing team for this commercial is trying to make connections between the experience of the Xbox 360 and this simple childhood game. It tells the consumer that they will have a happy, social experience if they buy and play the Xbox. The advertisement also uses the campaign slogan “Jump In”, to the same effect of the other commercials in this campaign. It creates a desire in the consumer to want to join a movement that is larger than themselves.

The “Jump In” advertisements by Microsoft accomplish a set out task. This task is to compel viewers to buy the product through indirect marketing of the product. The advertisements do not focus on the capabilities of the product itself, but focus on the experience that the product is supposed to allow. Both the water balloon and the jump rope advertisements create a desire in the consumer to join in a movement that is exciting and that encourages fun. Microsoft is not only selling the Xbox 360, but they are also selling an experience that the consumer desires. Microsoft uses advertisements that do not express the functionality of the Xbox 360, but that create desire in the consumer to want to join in on the experience of this product.

-Charlie Ripple

T.A. Kate Brandt

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