Ads and Commercials

Unit 5: Critical Approaches to Media Products

Genres of Advertisements. 

PSA – Public Service Announcement is a type of advertisement with the objective of raising awareness of an issue, affecting public attitudes and potentially stimulating action.  

Surreal– The surrealist movement that began in the 1920s tried to translate the subconscious mind into visual art. They can be used to amaze the audience, unlock hidden motivations, tap into the consumer’s desires and resonate in the viewers mind. It is used to this day in advertisements to shock, provoke and entice audiences, making the brand memorable.

Pastiche– An advert that imitates / pays homage to the work of another artist or period. A jingle is a type of sound motif…eg. go compare – modern sound motif

Controversial– Advertisements that creative controversy, causes public disputes and are often extremely shocking.These are effective because they get people talking about them and they’re memorable. The video below was for Carl Jr’s in America, it was deemed controversial because it was overly sexual to be advertising a food company.

Humorous– These adverts are designed to make viewers laugh and ideally the humour makes the advert more memorable. 

Repetition– The most irritating genre of advertisements. They are designed to drill the brand name into the viewers head. The ‘headon’ advert is the perfect example of repetition used in advertising.

SeductiveWell, they do say sex sells, seductive adverts trigger the audience to desire the product.  Food and perfume adverts are often made using a soothing, soft voice, almost sexualising the product. Perfume adverts are often seductive to make the audience believe the product increases attraction to the opposite sex. 


Factual -These adverts are informative and give the audience the information they need about a product and raise awareness of the brand.

Serious– Serious Adverts have an important message they need to get across and can be thought provoking and serious. 

 Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchi & Saatchi is a global advertising agency network. It was founded in London by brothers Maurice and Charles in 1970 but it is now headquartered in New York. The company is one of the world’s leading creating organisation, with over 7,000 employees across 84 countries. They offer communications, marketing strategy, advertising scripts for production, consumer research, forecasting and much more. Saatchi & Saatchi does not call itself an advertising agency but an ‘ideas company’. 

‘Their Inspirational Dream: To be revered as the hothouse for wold-changing ideas that create sustainable growth for our clients.

Their Focus: To fill the world with Lovemarks, brands that inspire loyalty beyond reason.

Their Spirit: One Team, One Dream – Nothing is impossible. ‘

(What is a Lovemark? They transcend brands and deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Made of special ingredients, Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy)

They have worked with an array of household names. Here are just a few memorable adverts brought to us by Saatchi & Saatchi.

They are also responsible for the sexually suggestive adverts for Club 18-30. They were formed of double entendres that really ruffled the feathers of the ASA, it was also the second most complained about advert of 1995. They used slogans like ‘Girls, can we interest you in a package holiday.’ With a picture of a man in just his underwear. They also produced billboards with subliminally sexual pictures.

^^ I found this interview with a Saatchi & Saatchi employee. I found it really interesting because Jay, is a cameraman and video editor for the company. He is describing his route into the industry. Stories from working at the company and his inspirations and some advice.

The Daft Supermarket deals

We were shown a panorama episode based on the 4 major supermarket brands ‘bargains’.  It was a real eye opener for me because it made me realise how easy people can be deceived by advertisements and ‘offers’.  Many of the advertisements claim that by shopping in the supermarket you will save yourself money in your weekly shopping and in a time of the financial recession, this idea will appeal to a vast majority of the public however what they may no realise is that the amazing deals the stores are providing may not be as good as they seem.  An example of this is the multi-buy ‘deal’..which fails to provide the shopper with any saving at all!

It also featured some commercials for the stores that were banned by the ASA, what I want to know is how the Advertisement Standards Agency allowed them to be aired in the first place, were they not checked before they were broadcast? They were banned because they contained false claims and exaggerated figures. The programme made it quite clear that the ASA only check the adverts if they are brought to their attention by the public, what happens if the public don’t pick up on the mistakes ?

The show featured both primary and secondary research. There was a great example of qualative research, there was a group sitting around in a room talking about supermarkets and their bogus deals. Then when they used information from other companies or organisations they would reference them.

There was an interview with somebody from the OFT, I wasn’t aware of the work the office of fair trading did, so I looked into it. They aim to improve how companies/markets work for customers by promoting and protecting the interests of the customers across the UK swell as ensuring businesses are fair and competitive.


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