In the simple yet memorable “S’mores” commercial advertising Hershey’s chocolate bars, the viewer is shown a montage of clips from a setting sun-lit bonfire gathering consisting of joyous late 20-somethings and a couple of kids laughing as melting marshmallow and chocolate dangle off their lips. A cheerful female narrator promises deliciousness and togetherness while the background music encourages the mood with lyrics, “it’s always a good time” as if to say, “You’ll always have a good time when you use our product!” The ad concludes with the logo emerging from a pool of melted chocolate and a final happy jingle. This ad is effective because it connects the viewer to the product on an emotional level.
Utilizing both the ideas of Pavlov and Jung, the advertisers were able to not only tantalize the viewer, but to engage him or her as well. The opening clip is that of a graham cracker smooshing into a gooey marshmallow and melting chocolate. This triggers the automatic desires in human beings for food. The viewer is wants that s’more without even having to think about it. Pavlov encouraged this use of sensory stimulation in advertising. Jung, on the other hand, believed it had to be taken a step further to really make the viewer want the product. Appealing to the viewer’s need for both friendship and familial affiliation, the images of the happy people at the party tell the consumer, “using Hershey’s chocolate in your s’mores will make your bonfire everyone’s favorite summer memory!” On top of that, the ad employs small uses of the need for escape, showing the people in a sunny environment, seemingly far from the realities of life. This perfect combination of appeals and imagery increases the ad’s effectiveness by giving the consumer the one thing that could possibly make their bonfire better: s’mores with Hershey’s chocolate.
This commercial targets a demographic of young families. Showing the laughing adults and adorable children together at a party seems to give the impression that s’mores with Hershey’s chocolate are the pinnacle of a “good time”. Psychographically, they connect the dots between food, friendship, and family while subconsciously boasting the effortlessness of a party with the help of Hershey’s… and if there’s one thing young parents with small kids really want, it’s ease. The advertisers tap into that self-serving desire much more quietly as to not insult, but still tempt, their viewers. Finally, the commercial wraps up with the narrator saying, “Life is delicious,” which, as Hershey’s unique selling proposition, sets them apart from other chocolate brands. It says Hershey’s is different because it’s a part of your life, and a part of your family. A big claim, perhaps, in such simple terms, but when it’s veiled by smiling people and delicious snacks, it all starts to make sense to the viewer.
The impact that an ad like this would have is generally positive. It encourages friends to gather together, spend time in the outdoors, and enjoy good food. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone deserves a sense of community and a little indulgence. Of course, we know that friendships and good times are built off so much more than what type of chocolate is melting between your marshmallows and graham crackers at your next summer bonfire, but everyone wants to enjoy themselves. That’s where this ad succeeds. It shows the consumer how their life will be made happier by the product, and in the words of Don Draper, “That’s what Advertising is all about: happiness.”