Thursday, July 2, 2015

Advertising Can Make Your Day

Creative victories come in various forms and degrees. Some assignments are struggles, while others allow creative people to reinvent what the product category advertising can be.

In that respect, this new commercial from Denmark is definitely a cut above.


Carlsberg smartly brands this highly entertaining commercial from the very beginning. We are charmed by the turn of events and ready to accept the idea this is the best beer brand in the world.

An advertising creative person's goal should be to produce advertising that will be the most memorable item in all the media content the audience is seeing. Indeed, when it comes to attention and entertainment, this Carlsberg commercial can make your day.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Advertising Problem Solution

Problem-solution is perhaps the strongest narrative approach in advertising. Show a problem in a compelling manner and anyone who shares that concern will pay attention.

The audience wants to know "what's in it for me?"

But, what if the solution is already within us?

That's interesting.


Beyond the public service appeal to drive safely, this commercial also has a selling idea. The car is presented from attractive angles of view, it is quick, it moves well, we like it's attitude. The car has a personality. It wants it's owner to be successful, to do the right thing.

Interestingly, advertising ideas are often predictive. Why shouldn't cars monitor driver behavior? Some might say the car would be over reaching, taking away their "rights." Others might be grateful, recognizing no one has the right to carelessly harm others.

This is admirable advertising.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Advertising and Excitation Transfer

Emotions are said to have a cognitive basis.

Whenever we notice an upwelling of sensation within ourselves, we name the feeling based on how we interpret our surroundings at that very moment. It is is our cognitive interpretation of the actions or stimuli we see before us that leads us to give a name to that felt sensation, be it joy, anger, regret, love or any other named emotion.

So, over the years, each of us learns through experience to associate events, places, people and things with feelings.

These upwellings of sensation vary in intensity and duration. Indeed, the felt sensations often continue within us after the immediate event or stimulus that triggered them.

This continuance of certain feelings over time is the basis for what psychologists call Excitation Transfer Theory. An emotional response triggered by one event or stimulus can carry over to an immediately following event or stimulus. In this way, the emotions aroused by an initial event or stimulus become associated with an immediately following event or stimulus.

Here we see this notion applied in advertising.


So the narrative of the dog's loyalty produced an upwelling of sensations likely interpreted as a form of sympathy. We are surprised by the ending, and in this moment of realization concerning organ donation, our continuing feelings of sympathy are transferred to our intentions toward organ donation.

This is an example of excitation transfer theory. It underscores the importance of emotional response in admirable advertising.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How To Sell Automobiles Today

Longer, lower, wider, more powerful... these are among history's most common selling ideas for automobiles.  Bigger and bolder was once the road to success.

The world is changing rapidly, and what we want from cars is becoming vastly different. Above all, we want security in an increasingly challenging environment. Security is obviously about safety. It is also about reliability and convenience.

Now Volvo has added health.


Everyone who drives in polluted urban environments will appreciate this product advantage. And, on the open road, there are increasing concerns about airborne factors including even the bacteria we may breathe.

Notice the communication approach. It is all about the product feature. Indeed, the product feature has been given a brand-focused metaphorical name.

Going into the future, this is how to sell cars. No user imagery, no hype needed. As consumers, in challenging times, we know relevance when we see it.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 9, 2015

To Be Made To Think Is To Agree

When someone challenges you to take a test, you generally take them up on it. Just look at all the tests people are sharing on Facebook these days.

Let's say you are asked to watch closely to see if any street scene passers by are noticing a new model of a car parked by the sidewalk. You would mostly likely try it.

Students who have taken my Psychology of Advertising classes easily recognize this technique as an example of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion.  To persuade in a memorable manner, messages must garner attention, hold attention, and invite the audience to think. Thinking is called "elaboration" in this conceptual model, hence the theory's name. 

So now, take the test.

The results of effective elaboration messages have been shown to be longer lasting attitude change as well as attitudes that are more resistant to competing messages. You have been thinking about the new Skoda Fabia.

Advertising scholars will remember a classic 1972 VW Beetle commercial that also used this "attention test" idea.

Both the Skoda and VW commercials are quite admirable. Think about them.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Data Driven Creativity?

Daylight Savings Time begins today. It's time to think about "data driven creativity."

In this era of big data, algorithms, and automated advertising, it is important to remember that customers don't respond so much to details. They don't really care about analytics driven digital adjustments to color, size, features, and media environment driven tailoring for specific audiences. Truly, in that approach you risk "averaging your way to average."

Customers care about ideas. That is how humans think and feel.


The great irony about ideas, is that the more they are parsed, analyzed, and rationalized, the less they become.

So, when someone proposes an analytics driven approach to your communication plan, be sure to step back. Look for the big idea, one that will capture the imagination of customers. Ideas are important. We cannot think without them, they are the very medium of thought and emotion.

Remember my advice. Ideas too heavily scrutinized can become ideas sadly vaporized.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Clucking Bunny

The days are getting longer. Indeed, in the United States, this coming Saturday night we "spring" our clocks ahead for daylight savings time.

Of course, springtime is a traditional time of renewal. And, eggs and rabbits are the twin folkloristic symbols of the season.

Legend has it, for those who have been on their best behavior during this season, an "Osterhase" will bring them brightly colored eggs as gifts.


This commercial, titled "Clucking Bunny" was created in the early 1980s by the wonderful creative department at Young & Rubicam in New York.

Copyright © 2015 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.