AFTER THESE MESSAGES





06-30-2021



Do you consider commercials to be pop culture? We do!





From the very beginning, advertisements have always played a role to help separate people from their hard-earned money. While that is not surprising nor unexpected, I think some commercials have gone beyond their expected reach and leaped into our pop culture arms!


There are countless examples of commercial characters who are now commonplace and just as popular as non-commercial characters. For example, Tony the Tiger, you know the giant Frosted Flakes spokesperson(tiger?), who first debuted in 1952, has become larger than the cereal box that bears his image. Jake from State Farm, you know the 3 am talking, khaki wearing insurance representative, is still just a fabric of a marketers vision, but the character has taken on a new role in pop culture. Any time we reference any commercial character out of context, we further cement their place in pop culture.


The same can be true when we place non-commercial characters into a commercial. As I mentioned in Episode 14, After THese MEssages, the child dressed as Darth Vader, a Star Wars pop culture icon, is referencing the character's ability to manipulate items with his hands and by using this character the smart folks at Volkswagen are illuminating their remote start feature. While there are many other examples of referencing pop culture characters in commercials, we can also have the characters provide the advertisement in their own universe. Product placement is another example of the pop culture/commercial crossover that is a mainstay in all media. For example, in the movie, Wayne's World the product placement is very "indiscriminately" pointed out to the viewers. Likewise, in the movie The Truman Show, the actors, playing "real people", deliver in-feed commercials to the viewers. Seemingly everywhere we look we are bombarded by advertising, I mean just look above or below this blog post, do you see an ad?


The Rise of Influencers, kind of sounds like a neat movie right, but in all actuality, it is just another method that advertisers have begun to utilize to move product. Social media, while being a fascinating tool, and a digital ecosystem unto itself is not immune from people becoming very powerful and influential. By using these "creators" with a large following, marketers can reach their target audience quite effectively. How does this crossover into pop culture though? That is, I feel, a little more tricky, as these are real people and not characters. Yet, as technology progress and drags us into the future, it is seemingly possible that influencers will start to become more AI-based and like Tony the Tiger, they will become larger than the mobile screen we currently view them on.


So until then, may the force be with you.


--DJ