Ad Analysis: Week in Review

           Friday Dialogue from                

                                      Your Two Favorite Educators 

As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit to analyze the psychological effects of Public Service Announcements (PSAs).

1.)  I love the HSBC advertisements from their “Different Points of Value” campaign.  They are witty and cause the viewer to rethink a common scene.  This week I would like to play the role of art director and provide you with an image and ask you to come up with three various perspectives.  

Aubrey:   I’m glad you’ve picked this.  It’s been on my mind a lot lately especially with the 911 call and hospitalization for “exhaustion.”   Here’s my take: Trophy Husband…Cleavage…K2 Spice Smoker

Emily:  Impressive…and moves chronologically as well.  It’s like your tagline follows the crescendo of her downfall.  I know it’s invading her privacy to release the full 911 call, but I just can’t believe that a grown adult making that much money is inhaling nitrous oxide.  I mean, c’mon.  Really, Demi?

2.)  Like I said on Thursday, I am haunted by the “this is your brain on drugs” PSA.  Describe your favorite PSA .

Aubrey: I was always really horrified by the “ I Learned it from Watching You” PSA.  As I look at it now, it’s somewhat of a laughable premise for a PSA but in 1987 it was very upsetting to me.  Although really the dad’s hair/mustache should have upset me too.  

Emily:  My brother and I used to quote that all the time as joke.  It’s the perfect punchline to any awkward situation.  That’s how I like to live my life:  deflecting all responsibility for my flaws onto others. 

3. When researching for the PSA day I was shocked at how graphic and abrasive the PSAs of today are.  Even though I was scared of an egg frying, the PSAs now are so much clearer, more direct, and harsher than the ones we grew up with.  What would you attribute to this change?

Aubrey: I have to imagine that a world that embraces all forms of reality television, including A &E’s Intervention, no longer feels the need to sugar coat the truth.  If kids can watch actual drug addicts in the throes of their addiction how can a “standard” print ad actually reach them?  

Emily:  I just feel like they are so in your face.  I think you’re right:  kids are more aware of the bad in life.  However, these PSAs are so threatening toward the recipient.  The PSAs we had when growing up just sought to scare us into submission.  The PSAs today seem more geared toward accusing the viewer that we are to blame, which then scares us into submission.  Like you said, we grew up seeing PSAs blaming parents for kid’s drug abuse.  Today’s ads are more shock and awe:  if you use too many paper towels Africa will go away.  They’re just too extreme for me to find them really effective.

4. While I love Dr. Pepper, I hate the commercials for Dr. Pepper Ten.  What is an ad that brings you to rage?

Aubrey:  I appreciate that you use the words, “brings you to rage.”  While there are a multitude of things that aggravate me in the world of advertising, especially 5 Hour Energy commercials, there is nothing more enraging than a company capable of good that turns to the dark side.  Geico, I’m talking to you.  You make me laugh with your Abraham Lincoln commercial.  But then, you follow it up with Woodchucks.  Really?  It’s not funny.  Those do not look like woodchucks.  Shame on you.  Just thinking about it makes me grit my teeth.

Emily:  I love the Geico commericals.  Even the woodchuck commerical.  I find them hysterical.  I reference the “little pig went wee all the way home” all the time in class.  It is to the point now that I will go “weeeee” and the kids shake their heads because they know what I’m alluding.  And they don’t think it is funny.  Maybe it is just because I have the humor of a 5th grader and love tv shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos and can watch videos of people falling while dancing like I’m getting paid for it.


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