An essay for English class

The antagonist of the show is about to kill the protagonist and then all of a sudden, the show stops and goes to commercial break. This is the most annoying part to most if not all of television viewers. This is probably what came to advertising agencies or the companies which make commercials: people hate commercials, why not make them interesting and entertaining? However, in the process of doing so, the original purpose of the commercial is lost and it is practically all entertainment. Commercials do not necessarily make false claims; they mislead consumers and/or do not seem to have a direct connection with the product being advertised.

In order to show this, the author has taken the following commercials as examples: the McDonald’s “Karen Po” commercial, a Coca-Cola commercial, a Sprite “Magpakatotoo ka” commercial, a Colt 45 commercial, and an SMB “Sabado Nights” commercial. In the McDonald’s commercial, a girl Karen arrives at McDonald’s to eat with her grandfather. Throughout their conversation, the grandfather calls his granddaughter Gina. She consistently reminds her grandfather that her name is not Gina, but Karen. Towards the end of the commercial, the old man cuts his burger in half and declares that the other half is for Karen. The girl smiles as she gives up trying to remind her grandfather that she is the real Karen. In the Coca-Cola commercial, a girl goes around a busy area in the city singing a song and handing out bottles of Coke to people she passes by. In the end, the message on the screen “Kasama ka. Coca-Cola” flashes. The “Magpakatotoo ka” commercial of Sprite was about a guy who was caught watching a drama flick on television. And finally, in the SMB “Sabado Nights” commercial, two friends were drinking beer at a bar when a pretty girl came in. She went straight to her boy friend and the two guys just let it go. Another pretty girl comes in and sits beside one of the two friends. She and one of them call the bartender at the exact same time to order a beer. They make a toast and drink. The Colt 45 commercial was a group of friends, all male, and one of them had to take a phone call from his girlfriend. He talks in a sweet voice and all of a sudden a huge bottle of Colt 45 falls down on him. Their point: their beer makes a real man.

All these commercials have quite a few things in common. First of all, these commercials are trying to advertise a consumable product—food in the case of McDonald’s and drinks in the case of the other three. Another thing they have in common is that the way all of them were shown did not have any connection with the product. For the McDonald’s commercial, there is no connection between delicious food and forgetfulness. For the Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Colt 45 commercials, there was a clear and distinct connection between the catch phrase and the commercial itself. The girl giving out Coke really gave meaning to Coke’s catch phrase “Kasama ka” because everyone had Coke, so everyone was included. The “Magpakatotoo ka” catch phrase of Sprite was also shown by the commercial; it was something to the extent of “be real, do not hide what you are watching”.  The Colt 45 commercial was like “drink this” so that when talking to one’s girlfriend, he does not use a “gay”, sweet voice. However, the problem is that the catch phrase had nothing to do with the product; in fact Colt 45’s message was very misleading. Drinking beer will not make a person’s voice deeper, nor will it make him more of a man. The SMB commercial was also misleading. The message it showed was that if one goes out to get a few beers, he will be able to get to know a really pretty girl. That sort of thing happens but not because of the beer. It depends on the personality of the girl and the boy. If the girl is willing to get to know new people and if the boy has enough courage to approach her and strike a conversation, then they will get to know each other. But not because of the beer; it could be through the beer but not because of the beer.

These commercials were very entertaining but they took away the essence of the product. Since they are all products which are consumed, they should have just shown how people can enjoy these products and plenty mouth watering shots of the particular product. They could also have shown the different situations possible in which consumers would most likely consume their product. That would have been a much better way to attract consumers. For example, the beer commercials could have been shot on the beach, a place where a lot of beer drinkers agree is one of the, if not the best place to drink beer. For the soda commercials, it could be a basketball game wherein the players are playing each other for a liter of Coca-Cola or Sprite, as is commonly done here in the Philippines. If this is done, the viewers would be more capable of relating to the commercial and there would be a higher possibility of them actually buying these products.


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