This series takes a candid look at the advertising being crammed onto your television screens and into your heads. Is it really good advertising, or just wasting a commercial break? Reader suggestions are always welcome.
In writing this series, and participating in the discussions it has created, I've learned to explain myself a little better. I understand that the point of advertising is not merely to have a guy stand in front of the camera and say, "This is our new product, you should buy it."
Advertising needs to be clever and entertaining, so that the company can keep its audience captive long enough to pay attention to what they are selling, and so there can be a way of getting you to think about their product subconsciously. The best way to do that is to make an advertisement that sticks in your brain, and by remembering the ad, you remember their product.
That being said, there are two sides to the coin - smart clever and stupid clever. Stupid clever is easy, all you have to do is make an ad about dick and fart jokes, and maybe even be metaphorical about it. Smart clever takes a lot more work, because often times you want the clever parts to be subtle enough that the audience has to really be paying attention to get it.
I personally think smart clever (for instance, a lot of the European advertising, which can be smart even when it's dumb) is the better move, because when you force the audience to really pay attention to your ad in order to get the jokes, you are in turn forcing them to really focus on the product you are peddling, which (theoretically) makes it stick with them better.
The idea behind this series is that most American advertisers seem to disagree. Our latest culprit is All-Bran cereal, a product of Post. Surely most of you, who have been in this world of ours for a while, are familiar with the product. All-Bran cereal, like any other bran product, is very high in fiber, and thusly helps keep your bowel movements "regular" (in frequency and consistency, among other qualities).
However, Post apparently disagrees, and feels you need a fresh reminder of exactly what All-Bran is capable of doing.