Battle of the Ads

Ahh the Superbowl. The one day a year that separates the boys from men… the football fans from the commercial fans. For my fellow commercial fans, you may not understand how much thought and energy is put in to each and every advertisement that plays during the Superbowl. Companies pour large quantities of money into their commercials, trying to gain as much attention as possible. So what makes a good commercial? Structure.

For example, look at the 2014 Coca Cola commercial. It opens with a young boy on a football team, and almost instantly jumps into the climax. The rising action is a young box named Adrian getting put into a football game by his coach, and a teammate telling him not to mess up. The climax of the commercial is when the ball finally comes to him. The falling action is a series of shots that show the boy running all through town. And finally the resolution is the boy drinking a coke in the large football stadium. This ad is supposed to be a humorous and inspirational one, in that the young boy is running much farther than necessary, but he does also still get a touchdown and connect with the guy at the stadium. The company is first introduced when the young boy looks at the end zone, in the background you can see the scoreboard says the other team name spot says Coca Cola.

Another example is the 2013 Doritos commercial. The commercial opens with a man eating Doritos who finds a Dorito loving goat for sale. The man buys him and the goat and man instantly bond, eating Doritos together in various situations. The rising action occurs when the man becomes irritated with the goat eating Doritos so often, and the climax of the story is when the goat finds the man in his room, with all the Doritos and a “Goat for Sale” sign. The falling action is the goat closing the door to the room the man is in. We are introduced to the company from the very beginning, as the man is walking down the street eating a bag of Doritos. The ads target audience is all ages, and they reach them through a humorous tone.

I think that the Doritos commercial has a stronger narrative. It very clearly outlines the entire story structure and is easy to follow. I think that the Doritos ad is also more effective at catching and holding the viewers attention, as it has upbeat sounds and is entertaining. I believe that people are more likely to share the Doritos commercial than the Coca Cola one.

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