The Affirmation Industry

10 Feb

After watching the Super Bowl, I found that commercials broke down into easy categories–the local, the network, the humorous, and the affirmational. I may be too cynical, but who are the affirmational ads for?

Having heard interviews with advertising execs, the successful advertisement is the one that 1) grabs your attention, 2) you remember after it’s shown, and 3) you remember what the product was. For me, the humorous ads accomplish at least the first two… and usually I remember what the product is. But usually the second I see “There’s a lot of struggling people out there…”, my brain has already tuned out.

There is so much bad things in the world that I can’t do a blessed thing about that I frequently tune it out. Apathetic? Sure, but I’ve got enough things to worry about in my own life–why do I need to import more? Yet I know that some people get into that. Some people (and I’ve met them) seem to enjoy wallowing in the bad things that are happening in the world. After all, good news doesn’t generate clicks–disasters do.

But I guess that’s the appeal of the affirmational ad. Bad things are happening, but don’t worry, with us working together we’re able to have a happy ending. Yay!

That’s not to say that affirmational ads can’t work for me. In fact, there were actually two “affirmational” ads that caught my attention–the one where the girl whose legs had to be amputated (Hyundai?) and the one with the chapel in Lebanon, Kansas (Jeep). However, I remember the Jeep one better because although I thought the message was good (meeting in the middle), the presentation was terrible.

I guess the Super Bowl–which has a wider audience than the rest of the NFL games–feels they have to appeal to different demographics. Doritos–flavored tortilla chips–goes for humor because making people feel bad doesn’t get people to eat overly fattening foods. (Or maybe it would–who knows?!) The people who want to fight systemic racism feel better about buying… um, NFL games because “they share my values.”

Yes, we’re all against earthquakes. Earthquakes are bad. We should give money to people to fight earthquakes. Okay, I’ll turn off the snark, but I’m curious–what kind of commercial appeals to you? Regardless whether you actually buy it (I haven’t bought Doritos in years), what type of ad will actually make you watch it… and watch it again. Let me know in the comments below!

4 Responses to “The Affirmation Industry”

  1. Silk Cords February 10, 2021 at 9:03 am #

    I thought the commercials were horrible all around this year. Granted, I had completely tuned out by half-time (which also stunk).

    Clever, original, funny and or heartfelt generally work for me. The Budweiser commercials with the clivesdales and dog for example. Classic feel good Americana without being too schmaltzy. I don’t drink, and the commercials aren’t about to make me start, but I appreciated them.

    Funny examples would be the old Deon Sanders and Roadrunner Pepsi(?) commercial and the Nissan commercial with the pigeons chasing the car to poop on it. That one got banned because the CARTOON pigeons crash into the garage door after teh Nissan beats them home. Somebody thought that was animal cruelty.

    • albigensia February 10, 2021 at 9:39 am #

      Haters gonna hate–or you can always find someone to complain about anything. 🙂

      • Silk Cords February 10, 2021 at 9:43 am #

        True. It’s depressing how much sway they have at times though.

  2. joliesattic February 10, 2021 at 9:37 pm #

    Just quit trying to brainwash me into believing whitewashed bulls–t. Sorry. I pretty much tune them all out.

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