Our absent mindedness when watching television commercials works in favour of advertisements like this. We are paying little attention to adverts naturally and this allows peripheral processing to take over when analysing the quality of an advert (Petty & Cacioppo, 1979) which allows more influence to come from heuristics and biases (Chaiken & Eagly, 1989) when forming opinions and, following that, behaviours. We will focus more on the mood of the advert, its tone and how it made us feel, rather than the actual message which is being conveyed, as in video formats, communication cues can have a higher influence on persuasiveness than the message itself (Chaiken & Eagly, 1983). As far as meaning goes these adverts have very little, but they have a lot of emotive triggers to give us a good impression.
Their effectiveness can be broken down into their humour, their nostalgia and their vividness. They are loved because we find them funny, interesting and memorable and each of these factors work together to make them engaging and powerful adverts. We find these adverts comical, which makes them more memorable and more likeable (Chung and Zhao, 2003), which makes us more likely to discuss them with others and become viral (Porter & Golan, 2006). When we discuss adverts we do advertisers job for them, furthering their appeal and increasing their reinforcement with others.
We like the familiarity of the songs present in these adverts: “In the air tonight” by Phil Collins and “Finally” by CeCe Peniston, two upbeat, high energy songs by top 10 artists that were popular in their time and have lived on in popular media, making them seem familiar. This familiarity can aid in appeal of the adverts, as we like things that we know better,(Rindfleisch & Inman, 1998) and the more we are exposed to something, the more we like it (Pratkanis, 2011). Generations of children have played with action men, another element of nostalgia to make us feel more positively towards the advert (Sedikides, Wildschut, Arndt & Routledge, 2008).
A powerful tool being used by these campaigns is increasing their salience and vividness- the prominence and noticeability of the advert. Their weirdness is matched by how much it stands out from the crowd and this helps make them more likeable and influential. If something is more vivid it becomes more salient and messages that are more salient are typically more influential when making a judgement (Taylor & Thompson, 1982) and more memorable when considering making a purchase or what company to go for when you need a service.
Advertising campaigns like that of Money Supermarket broadcast frequently and have several different adverts, all presenting the same idea, in this case their “feel epic” campaign. This uses a technique of message repetition to make the idea seem more valid, and the message more truthful, building on the mere exposure effect (Pratkanis, 2011). In this case we could come to believe more and more strongly that we too would feel epic if we bought insurance through money supermarket, it is an effective technique.
Chaiken, S., & Eagly, A. H. (1983). Communication modality as a determinant of persuasion: The role of communicator salience. Journal of personality and social psychology, 45(2), 241.
Chaiken, S., & Eagly, A. H. (1989). Heuristic and systematic information processing within and. Unintended thought, 212, 212-252.
Chung, H., & Zhao, X. (2003). Humour effect on memory and attitude: moderating role of product involvement. International Journal Of Advertising, 22(1), 117-144.
Campaign (2015) Cadbury's Gorilla is nation's favourite ad, while industry opts for Guinness' Surfer.
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Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1979). Issue involvement can increase or decrease persuasion by enhancing message-relevant cognitive responses. Journal of personality and social psychology, 37(10), 1915.
Porter, L., & Golan, G. J. (2006). From subservient chickens to brawny men: A comparison of viral advertising to television advertising. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 6(2), 30-38.
Pratkanis, A. R. (Ed.). (2011). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. Psychology Press.
Rindfleisch, A., & Inman, J. (1998). Explaining the familiarity-liking relationship: mere exposure, information availability, or social desirability?. Marketing Letters, 9(1), 5-19.
Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Arndt, J., & Routledge, C. (2008). Nostalgia: Past, present, and future. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(5), 304-307.Taylor, S. E., & Thompson, S. C. (1982). Stalking the elusive" vividness" effect. Psychological review, 89(2), 155.