During the Super Bowl, Chrysler ran a commercial for their mid-age crisis auto, the Dodge Charger. Now I’m not a man that has ever needed a car to express my maleness, but some men do – this commercial was targeted towards them.
This commercial was designed to not be ignored. It’s creative execution is done in a way that makes it stand out. It cuts through the clutter and targets the one type of guy – we’ll call him PW for short. This commercial was destined to offend – and it has. Some women have gone online to express their dissatisfaction with and ad that doesn’t address them. On one blog posting a about the Dodge commercial, I saw the following comment:
I don’t care what car you’re selling, you’re still selling to women.
And then there’s this parody ad:
I think that for too long there’s been the assumption that men abdicate all decision to the women in their life. I’m sure some men do. But what about men that have backbones; or men that don’t like women in that way; or men that have a relationship where they consult on decisions with their partner? Why does every product need to be sold to women?
Women have earned the right to vent at this male dominated society – and I understand where the parody is coming from, but not every message is meant for every person. As a black person, I tend to skip over ads for tanning salons – I assume they’re not meant for me.
Advertising has swung to target women so decidedly, that advertisers don’t know how to speak to men. The only way they know how to is to insult women, show T&A, or feature scatological humor.
All this commercial does is target men in one of the few ways the advertiser knows how to. If the ad doesn’t ad doesn’t speak to you, I say you ignore it.
Finally Microsoft is running an effective ad campaign. If you haven’t seen it, Lauren (cute redhead too) is given $1,000 to buy a computer. She wants it to have a large monitor and a comfortable keyboard. First she heads to an Apple store and immediately leaves when she realizes that Apple has one computer in that price range – the Macbook with a 13″ screen. She then heads over the Best Buy where she finds an number of machines that fit her price range and leaves with an HP that costs $699.
In this economy…
I have to say that this commercial is smart. If you need to buy a computer, absolutely price is a concern, and considering nothing else, it’s an area that Macs can’t compete in. Of course there are other issues. I’m currently writing this post on my wife’s Sony Vaio laptop which is just a year and a half old. I would have preferred to buy a Mac for her, but a month prior to getting married, the price of a Mac was prohibitive. She needed a computer to get things done, so I got her this computer for $600. It has gotten things done, but there is the “you get what you pay for” issue. Most of the time we’ve owned this machine, this computer has been a pain to use. Vista was horrible. The amount of call trialware on the computer was appalling. Over the year Microsoft has made Vista better, and I’ve done things to make the computer bearable. Honestly most people don’t care that much. They don’t expect much out of their computer which makes a Windows machine perfect for them.
Apple need to do a better job at the low end of the price spectrum. There is absolutely no reason Apple shouldn’t be able to provide a Macbook with a 15″ monitor for under $1,000. As people begin to pay more attention to their budget and bottom line, the extra dollars may be too much for their wallet. Apple needs to be more inclusive.
Update: Click the following link if you’re looking for the Music Box commercial that is currently running.
Last night during the Oscars JCPenney introduced a new ad campaign that included a great song by a band called Forever Thursday (which may just be Aussie singer Melanie Horsnell – not sure). Sounds a lot like something Fiona Apple or Regina Spektor would do. You can check it out at her Myspace page:
The campaign signifies a slick new direction for JCPenney. A lot like Target in look and feel. It looks like they commissioned their own music – the look isn’t as distinct as the Target campaign, but based on sound alone, it may make a mark. Smart move for them.