Sep 7, 2012

Advertising: Love the Hype!

What makes a turd into a rainbow?

Simple, how you describe it. The beauty of advertising is its ability to take the most unappealing item and make you desire it. It's the art of reinvention, and is another way that persuasion can cause the masses
to love something horrible.

Remember the pet rock? If not, it was a toy that was very popular in the 80's. And by toy, I mean a rock. That's right. Some genius decided that what kids needed for entertainment could be found in their backyard and all you needed to do was slap a coat of paint on them and BAM! Millionaire. This man successfully made the mundane cool and successfully showed the magic of advertising.

This example was just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure you have all seen other examples of more current advertising of horrible products IE. the Snuggie. I still don't understand how this caught on. It is just a blanket, right? No secret compartments or cigar holders present... just a blanket- with sleeves. Yet despite nothing innovative, for some reason these things sell like iPods.

Advertisements have a strange ability to resonate in your head. And the weirder they are, the better. That is why I have compiled some of the most infamous ads to showcase how you don't have to be sane, coherent, or normal to market a product. This is how weird sells:

To all you movie buffs out there, yes, that is zach galafinakis sporting a giant wig "updo". And yes, he is crying and screaming and generally doing nothing to help promote the product. But how enjoyable was that? Answer:  Very. And it seemed to do pretty well as over 2 million people alone went to youtube just to watch this commercial. When people are wanting to watch an ad, rather than having it sneak up on them during their TV time, you know you are on the right track.

Now for one of the most famous ads of the past 3 years. The Old Spice commercial guy.

This video spawned chaos throughout the internet community and for good reason; this ad was funny, original, and really well done. Did it promote the product? Yes, but that wasn't why you were watching. Your eyes were glued to the screen because of the weird factor. The way the set changed, what the man was babbling about, those weird little quirks made you think 'whats going on?'. When you start asking questions: you are interested.

And that's the point. Weird sells. Cool can only get you so far in life and everyone can wear a pair of sunglasses and ride a skateboard. Being odd, unusual, quirky -even, will keep people coming back for more.

So stay odd. You'll look better that way.



  1. Actually, I think good commercial advertisements is the graphics. I like the old spice commercials because of the continuous change of scenery. My all time favorite commercial is an old HP printer ad where a guy is simply playing with picture frames. What's unique about the ad is the frames become pictures and switch back to frames.

  2. For every pet rock and Old Spice commercial, there are plenty of "Where's the Beef?" commercials. One of the most popular commercial in our lifetime and most people can't tell you what product or company the commercial was trying to sell. Speaking of unique commercials, does anyone else think those Skiddles commercials with the singing berries and cream "lad" are super creepy? Seriously, that guy gives me nightmares.