This is a banner ad for a new initiative from Mars Chocolate, the makers of brands like M&Ms, Snickers and Dove Chocolate.
Doesn’t this ad look friendly and well meaning? Like something you’d see in an educational pamphlet about eating right or at a doctor’s office or something?
Except that the center of the cute Earth-like image at the bottom is a big round piece of chocolate, which isn’t usually the featured food in health-food pamphlets. And when you go to the website, it’s all about health, how to make sure you’re eating right and exercising. Oh, and chocolate. It talks about the history of chocolate and extols the virtues of the chocolate sold by Mars.
The website does a great job of actually not being full of mixed messages, despite being run by a chocolate company. It’s very up-front about their products and their marketing, actually. The problem is the banner ad, which isn’t so up-front. When I first saw it I wasn’t even sure what it was for. I thought “Mars, the chocolate company?” and “is that chocolate in the middle?” and generally thought it was weird. Honestly, if it weren’t for this blog, I doubt I would have followed the link to see what it was pointing to. I was kind of put off by it.
While I appreciate the efforts Mars seems to be going to in order to encourage healthy eating and everything, I can’t help but feeling like this banner ad doesn’t convey their message that well. It feels almost deceptive, and that’s not something that I would think they’d want, given how the whole campaign is about how they’re trying to go out of their way to be open about the health information on their products! I just think that there has to be a better way for Mars to advertise this initiative beyond the website.
This is a commercial for Cadbury Milk Chocolate and was shown during the Super Bowl. I found it on the internet.
So, while I think this is an amusing video along the lines of the weird stuff that can be found on YouTube, I’m afraid I don’t really understand what it has to do with… well… anything. Call me old fashioned, but I like ads to actually be somehow at least tangentially related to the product. Otherwise I have to wonder what the point of using them as advertisements for the product is. And while there is something to be said for having a distinct video, however odd, that simply reminds people of your product because you produced it, this didn’t bring in the product enough to manage that. I’d forgotten what it was for ten minutes after watching it and had to go find out again to write this post. That seems like an advertising fail to me, even if it’s an awesome video on its own. Sorry, Cadbury.
This is a contest from Hershey’s Bliss. I saw the Facebook ad and was confused by the language, so I checked out the website, only to discover it really was that weird.
The Facebook ad I first saw:
This is the front page of the contest website:
(click for full size)
So the deal is that you can enter on the website and the prizes are varying amounts of chocolate, copies of the book The Necklace, and a two-week rental of a diamond necklace, which five people can win. And the two-week windows are already assigned, so if the special event you wanted the necklace for doesn’t fit into that schedule, well, too bad. But that’s the whole point, you’re supposed to wear the necklace to a special event and it will somehow change your life. And then you’re supposed to blog about it for them. They have a blog on the website with stories from women who have already worn the necklace and had their lives changed by it and the point is to add your magical story to that.
I guess what bothers me about this is both the fact that they are offering the chance to rent something, like it’s a rarity, when renting jewelry is actually pretty easy to do these days, and the fact that they’re making it sound like this is some magic piece of jewelry that will ensure you an incredible, life changing experience. It’s just a necklace. It’s not even a particularly special necklace with an interesting history or from an interesting maker, nor is it especially pretty or unique. It’s not ugly or anything. I mean, as ostentatious diamond necklaces go, it’s not bad at all, but it’s kind of boring. If you’re going to have to win the right to wear something, wouldn’t you want it to be something interesting, like a necklace worn by a first lady or a queen or Coco Chanel or something? This just isn’t very interesting. And the website just makes me feel like they’re trying to remind you of a Tiffany’s box, which is confusing. Otherwise the site is patronizing, boring and confusing to find your way around. Not good site design or good marketing.
Mostly, I just think this contest is poorly thought out. It could be cool, but it falls far short of that.
This is a commercial for Halls Refresh and I found it online.
This commercial somehow makes me uneasy. Even though nothing happens between the mom and the roommate, it’s clear what they’re trying to get at here. I don’t think they’re really implying that anything has or will happen necessarily, just that they want you to understand the innuendos being made and laugh as they imply a more serious situation. The problem is that it’s more than a little creepy. I mean, this commercial would never have been made with the genders reversed (dad and female 18-year-old roommate). I get that the expectations are different for men and women, but I still don’t see how that makes this ok. And the fact that it’s so creepy really just makes me want to have nothing to do with it. I certainly have no interest in buying the product and, depending on how long this commercial stays in my memory, I may continue to have negative associations with the product for a very long time. I don’t think that this was a good move by the marketing department at all!