What makes an advert memorable?

| September 17, 2020

Advertising is a most powerful form of public manipulation. Millions upon millions are spent by advertising agencies in pursuit of the right brand name, enticing images and psychological brainwashing. Adverts can be memorable for the people that are used in the advert, slogans, jingles and any humour used in the advert. Advertising has been part of our lives since everyone can remember. They started in America, the nation of corporate culture, capitalism and snake oil salesmen. A number of the best directors such as Alan Parker and Ridley Scott made adverts in their early careers.
Some of the most effective adverts are the simplest ones and that is why I think these adverts are memorable. The first memorable advert will explain the Birds Eye beef burgers ads that star Ben and Mary made by Alan Parker. Alan Parker developed a different type of advert and that is why it is memorable. The people used in the advert where not middle class people with a certain type of accent. They were real kids with a real personality. This was a new development in the making of adverts. I do not remember the Ben and Mary adverts myself as I am too young but I did see it on channel 4’s 100 best adverts. The adverts started in 1974. My parents do remember the adverts though and therefore the ads must be memorable.
Another memorable advert that used school children is the British Airways advert, filmed in Utah. The advert cost 2 million to film and was choreographed by the woman who choreographies the crowd at the Atlanta Olympic games. At the time British Airways was starting to suffer, as there were cheaper airlines. This advert turned things around for them. At first the advert just seemed to show a group of people swimming in the sea. Then the people start to get out of the sea and the camera pulls back and you realise all the people are in the shape of a mouth dressed in blue. A blue eye and a white ear are also shown in a similar way. Then all the features join up to make a face. An eye then winks at you. Next all the children change T-shirts and make the world and all the continents.

The message to the people is to travel with the friendly face and the slogan is “The Worlds Favourite Airline”. I think this advert is memorable because it is visually shinning – the scale is visually imposing and communicates the message effectively. Some of my next adverts are memorable because they are humorous. It may be cruel humour, gentle humour or black humour.
The John West advert for salmon with the bear it is an example of wit and whimsy. A bear is on screen but at first you are fooled into thinking the scene looks like it is a real life documentary. The John West’s man presents to you that John West’s will go to any lengths to get the best salmon. A man tries to get the salmon from the bear, with great difficulty. The bear fights back in the manner of a boxer and you realise the bear is man produced in a very realistic bear suit. The advert is slapstick and contains a humorous twist. The bear gets kicked in the genitals and curls up like a real man would.
I think this advert becomes memorable because at first it does look like a real documentary and then twists to become man produced, an advert. It is obviously funny even to a person with no sense of humour. The next ad uses cruel humour and black humour. It is the Red Devil advert starring Vinnie Jones. It was eventually pulled because the cruelty to the animatronics bird devastated children. In the ad Vinnie Jones plays his usual cruel, mean man character that he plays in his films yet at first there is a twist to his character. This was put in to shock people, it was rather like the Gary lineker adverts. Gary lineker was mean in his adverts but was a nice person in real life. This is what happens in the beginning of the Red Devil advert. Vinnie Jones actually seems nice!
Vinnie takes an empty bird feeder and goes inside to fill it up. This is where the twist comes into his character. He goes back to his usual mean self. We then see a full bird feeder hung up and Vinnie drinking a can of Red Devil. The bird feeder looks like it is on the outside of the window but in fact it is not. A bird flies towards the bird feeder and hits the window and slides down the glass. We then see Vinnie Jones laughing. For me I think the advert and the product are memorable yet this is not the case for most people. Most people remember the advert but not the product.
The next advert I am going to talk about is memorable because of its sheer originality. It is the Guinness advert called surfers, made in 1999. Jonathon Glazer made it. The director set out to create something visually and emotionally arresting and that’s what they did. They were looking for something epic and something that has great importance and length. They realised it took 119.5 seconds to pour a pint of Guinness and they latched on to the idea of time. The idea was that good things come to those who wait and that is why the first words of the advert are “He waits that’s what he does….” And then the voice over saying “Tick follows, Tock follows, Tick follows, Tock follows, Tick….”
The other idea was that Guinness was worth waiting for. The advert was based on the film Moby Dick and a painting with white horses, which was made by Walter Crane. It was about-facing the ultimate challenge. They then set off for Hawaii in search of the perfect wave and the perfect people to surf it. They found a man under a palm tree who was not a very good surfer and was afraid of the 40 ft wave he was about to face. The people try to represent what is going on in inside of the eye of the man and that is where the horses come in. The horses are symbolic.

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