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Shut Up, Bob

September 14, 2010 1 comment

For those of you that live in New England, you’re very familiar with Bob’s Discount Furniture.

For those of you that don’t live in New England, consider yourself lucky.

Bob’s Discount Furniture has rapidly become the prototype local advertiser: cheesy jingles, low definition camera quality, and commercials with nothing in the background but a sea of white.

Bob has extremely low self-esteem, often to the point where he constantly must remind himself that he has the lowest prices of any furniture retailer in the area. Bob does this through the filming of grainy, low budget ad spots during which he repeats over and over again how incredibly awesome his prices are in relation to “the other guy.” A glaring feature universally found in cheap, local advertisements like Bob’s is the flashing colorful graphic displaying the product’s price. Bob utilizes this tool to the most extreme level, particularly when promoting his pride and joy, a tempur-pedic line of mattresses ingeniously named the “Bob-O-Pedic.”

Bob’s voice is unbearably shrill. His recent terrorization of radio airwaves has magnified this fact. Bob feels the need to maximize his voice’s annoyingness through dreadful catchphrases like “come on down!,” “lickety-split delivery!,” and “it’s a no-brainer!”

Bob’s appearance is less professional than a hot dog vendor’s. He dresses in tight Levi’s, raggedy polo shirts and sneakers that appear to be thrift store Sauconys. His comb over is disheveled and his goatee is unkempt. Bob is a poor figurehead for New England’s retail mattress industry.

Bob often appears as a clay-mation character in his television commercials. This neither detracts nor adds to his attractiveness as the company’s spokesperson as the character is equally obnoxious and serves only as a miniature version of Bob with an over-sized head.

The one nod I will give to Bob is that he is blatantly honest in his advertising, something many marketers are unable to claim. His mattress mantra is that “I can’t promise you’ll sleep better, but you’ll save a whole lot more.” He doesn’t over inflate his product’s performance as he really only attempts to compete on price.

Honest as he is, Bob is flat out painful to watch and listen to. He redefined low-budget advertising in New England through awful commercials, poor humor, and a voice that could launch a house pet into a fit of seizures. The man who forces millions to dive for the remote on a daily basis, Bob took the unconventional route in developing brand recognition; make them hate you so much that they’ll remember you forever. I hate you, Bob. But damn it, I respect you.

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Classic Ad: “Be Like Mike”

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Has there ever been a more blatant and straightforward celebrity endorsement than this classic commercial?

“Be Like Mike. Drink Gatorade.”

No reading between the lines there. Gatorade didn’t even attempt to play with kids’ emotions. They barely had to do a thing. Just put Michael Jordan on screen with a few children and watch the product fly off the shelves. He’s the hero of a generation and the greatest basketball player of all time; his mere presence next to a Gatorade bottle launches the beverage into immortality. Throw in one of the most memorable advertising melodies in recent memory and you have yourself a legendary marketing campaign.

There’s so much to love about this ad. The song is catchy, the highlights give you goose bumps and kids can easily relate to the concept because they’ve all pretended at one time or another to be a famous athlete. Who better to portray this message than his Airness at the height of his popularity? 1992, the good old days.

On a side note: What’s with MJ touching that kid inappropriately at the 0:17 mark?