Let’s compare TV commercial styles, keeping in mind that generalizations are hard to make – and that if they apply more than 25% of the time, you’re doing really well!
I’m going to break this review into two parts -- two posts.
The first CM is for Asaha Slut…er….Asahi “Slat” (pronounced “slut”) in Japanese, a low calorie canned cocktail aimed at young women.
It’s “typical” insofar as :
a.) It is very short
b.) It uses a popular “talent” for “face” value
c.) There is no dramatic action – no “story”
d.) It has limited (if any) intellectual content.
e.) It is designed around a single image
f.) The voiceover is excited, a little high pitched, a kind of rah-rah banzai announcer thing .
Our second CM is the one we downloaded earlier.
a) It is a big longer
b) It does not uses a celebrity for “face value”
c) It has dramatic action – a “story” (or stories)
d) There is a theme, a clear concept, a “twist”
e) It is designed around a single concept with multiple images
f) The voice over is familiar, natural, persuasive
g) It’s funny.
We’ll deal with this one in our second post -- next time.
Now – the “Slut” CM – which to many Westerners will look like a waste of money as far as persuading any budding ...uh....slattern to buy the product.
It’s easy to dismiss both the product and the advertising at one go – and Japanese branding and marketing in general. Keep in mind that Americans are always so savvy . There are lots and lots of really bad TV commercials in the US. And branding? Think of Holiday Inn’s logo “Think again” (I definitely will!) or the Hilton’s “Travel takes you places” (Duhhh….).
But I digress.
This Slut CM actually works.
It’s going to catch the eye, if not the ear, of many young Japanese women who spend a lot of time not only looking the mirror but obsessing about beautiful “talento” with perfect makeup. And it makes a simple association between beauty and health – beautiful girl “mirrored”, that is times two -- and the grapefruit juice in the chuhai and low calories. Want to be “in”? Drink Slut/Slat. Want to be beautiful? Drink Slut/Slat.
Who wants to be “in”? Everybody. Who wants to be beautiful? . Everybody.
Who wants applause --as with the dreadful voice-over? Everybody.
Keep in mind that TV CM are “low attention” vehicles. We generally don’t want to “think” about them -- they're a necessary evil although they provide time to go to the fridge.
The Japanese strategy is to keep CM short (less expensive anyway) and “embed” an emotive or performative image in the consumer’s mind before she/he notices it. Hit and run.
OK… the messages are minimalist. Take a look at your Facebook page. What are people mostly talking about? Simple, day to day to stuff. The philosopher Heidigger once wrote -- with disdain – that the second fall of man is the quotidian. Of course, he was right – but he also wasn’t happy.
Next time… western TV CM.