This ad follows the differing emotions of a mom and dad in regard to their son, who is growing up and apparently soon to strike out on his own. The ad is amusing, but functionally it’s somewhat hard to follow. The storyline isn’t immediately apparent – even after two separate hearings. Much of that is due to the fact that the story is told through song. The sung words are hard to understand at times, especially since the voice actors have to over-embellish their emotive inflections to really drive home their characters’ emotions. Overall I would say this would be a better ad for TV than radio.
The heyday of antivirus software may have come and gone, but Norton Antivirus mounts this profanity-laden ad in order to…what exactly? As far as I can tell, “cybercriminals” – are they Russian? – lurk for the opportunity to leech your bank account in $10 increments over a period of several months. And you’ve got to do something about it.
I don’t see much indication from the data sheet on the advertised product that it can actually alert you of suspicious banking activity. In fact, good old fashioned vigilance might be the most reliable way of detecting that threat. Buying a product like this might create a false sense of security. It took an additional five minutes or so on their website to see the likely threat they were advertising to guard against was a keylogger (that is, malware that records your keystrokes, captures your passwords and sends them to an attacker).
Most people are savvy enough to understand conceptually what a keylogger is with minimal prompting, so that would have been a nice bit of concrete detail to demonstrate the product’s value. However, the ad obscured that otherwise useful detail in a vague narrative that to me came across as somewhat disingenuous.
Most odd is the use of profanity in the ad. That seems to alienate a natural audience for this product: a non-technical older demographic concerned about safely navigating the Internet. The nice old church lady who just wants to check her email and see pictures of her grandkids might find the F-bomb in the ad a little jarring.
Overall the ad fails for me.
3) Common Sense
This is an unusual radio ad in that it is sponsored by Operation Lifesaver, an organization whose mission is to warn people to avoid playing on railroad tracks. Most of the ad is filled with humorous common sense sayings: “don’t tell a knock-knock joke during a eulogy” and “don’t go swimming in leather pants”.
The very last common sense saying is the true message of the ad, as it revolves around playing on railroad tracks. Yet it’s enough of a non sequitor that this otherwise serious warning sounds as humorous and tongue-in-cheek as the rest of the ad. Sure: stay off the tracks – got it, LOL! The humor that ties the ad together actually ends up diluting its central message.
Additionally, the cryptic name “Operation Lifesaver” doesn’t give the listener much opportunity to glean that key message at the end. There is the real risk that the entire ad is lost on the audience because the message is so buried. Perhaps this reveals an interesting insight into ads. If you assume your audience already knows who you are, your ad may prove to be incomprehensible to that audience, and the whole effort is pointless.
This radio ad is from that series of government-sponsored drives to combat school bullying. The content of the ad consists of kids and teens reciting the insults they receive at school throughout their day. On the one hand, the insults are obviously terrible. But in the course of hearing the ad we have no idea whether these are kids reading scripted lines for rhetorical effect or actual life experiences.
At times the ad belabors its point to the extent that the neutral/sympathetic observer can almost find it grating, taking attention away from the message itself and toward a growing wish for the ad to wrap itself up. That being said, the ad is clear-spoken and bluntly stated with no frills, which largely succeeds in underlining the seriousness of the subject matter.
An interesting twist to this ad is that where others are from private companies, this is a government-sponsored program. Perhaps with the knowledge of that, the listener has greater confidence in the program with the resources and backing of the government. This program exists alongside other independent movements like The Bully Project and Bystander Revolution.
To me, this Office Depot ad is the best of the bunch. Henry is preparing to submit his paperwork for a big professional goal, but by forgoing Office Depot’s services, he has no time to find the mistakes within his paperwork that ultimately torpedo the effort.
The voice is clear throughout and the storyline accessible. As such, the target customer is clearer in the mind too. We can see a business or office worker as the natural customer of this service. Office Depot is ultimately selling itself through comparative advantage.