Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Top 5 Crafty Advertising Appeals in Commercials

I’m not afraid to admit it; I have teared up watching a television commercial. I’ve also laughed until my sides hurt, and have gotten lost in a different world, all from the comfort of my couch. To think that these incidents were merely coincidence would be incorrect. Advertisers play with different appeals in order to make the biggest impression with us as consumers.

First, some background as to what advertising appeal really is: it’s the reason for a person to buy a product. There are several different appeals that a campaign can use to their advantage to sell the most amount of product. They include the following examples:

  • Slice-of-Life: Shows people (our peers) in normal, everyday settings in order to make the product seem to naturally fit into consumers’ lives. Even though I have never heard of the bread company mentioned in this commercial, I really liked how consumers could insert themselves seamlessly into any or all of these scenarios:

  • Humorous: Advertisers are hoping that by making you laugh or chuckle at their product’s ad that you’ll easily remember it the next time you’re in the store. I could have included the Snickers commercial featuring Betty White, but I assume you know that one by heart so here’s one of the runner-ups:

  • Real/Animated Product Symbols: Character(s) that can best represent the product in advertisements. I loved the Mac versus PC commercials a few years back, so I decided to highlight one of them for you to enjoy:

  • Mood or Image: A certain ‘feeling’ is portrayed in order to build recognition among the viewers. I honestly tried my hardest to find another example besides a Pure Michigan commercial; however, none that I viewed even came close to the feeling of utter tranquility and calm of this one:

  • Nostalgia: Our brains are hard-wired to remember the good times and forget the bad times. Advertisers tap into that and often time bring us back to yesteryear (even if we weren’t alive then) in order to give us that warm, fuzzy feeling of days gone by. This Chevy commercial epitomizes those carefree days before our stress became a part of our everyday lives:

No matter which appeal advertisers use, there are some goals that should be met:

  1. Immediately drawing attention to the advertisement regardless of its format: print, visual, or audio-based.
  2. The message should hold consumers’ interest and create a desire for the good or service.
  3. Finally, there should be motivation to actually purchase the product (shocking).

If these three components are met, then the commercial is considered a success. Well, at least in the advertisers’ and marketers’ minds. We may think differently, especially if we continually see the same commercial again and again.

Which of these appeals do you like best? Do you know any other commercial examples that better show these appeals? Sound off below!


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  1. Amanda

    Great post Amy!! I love seeing the different types of commercials! I can’t decide which one I like best.

    • amy

      These aren’t even all of the appeals out there. I chose these few because they’re my favorite. I thought maybe the “sex sells” approach might be too risque for QLP’s blog 😉

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    Favorite: Humorous! Any commercial that can make me laugh already wins points. There are way too many to pick out, so we’ll just make it a sweeping category of win.

    I also like Real or Animated Product Symbols like the PC/Mac or the Charmin Bears. But I also DESPISE the T-mobile girl. That girl’s face induces anger and nausea. I only like her when she’s being mocked in Verizon Wireless commercials.

    • amy

      I love the Straight Talk commercial so much! It’s one of the few that even after seeing it a couple times I still laugh at.

      I really despise the T-mobile girl too. The latest commerical with her in the North Pole wearing that stupid pink dress makes my blood boil. Geez, eat a cheeseburger and put on a jacket and jeans.

  3. Jen

    Great blog Amy! I LOVE the commercials you choose to highlight. That bread commercial was great! I want a sandwich now…

    And the first time I saw the Chevy commercial I got chills. Was that Tim Allen’s voice too???? It’s a great commercial. I love the old pictures. 🙂

    • amy

      Thanks Jen 🙂 For the slice-of-life appeal I was hoping to attach this pasta sauce commerical that I had seen a few years ago. It was one of those that after wards you couldn’t help but go, “awwwww!” It was so cute and well done. But, I couldn’t find it. The bread ad I think still nailed it though, and yes it really made me crave a sandwich too. Time to call Jimmy John’s! 😉

      As a matter of fact, that was Tim Allen’s voice in the Chevy commerical. Good ears!

  4. Rachel

    Great post, Amy! It’s always fun to take a look at the decisions marketers make.

    As for other examples … Mayhem from the Allstate commercials is one of my favorites in the “Real/Animated Product Symbols” category. And for “Humorous,” I love the commercials with the guy who turns anything he touches into Skittles. But maybe that’s because I love Skittles a lot. 🙂

    • amy

      Mayhem is awesome! As well as Peggy from the Discover Commercials (she works at USA Prime Credit) hahaha, i always crack up at both of those commercials.

      I’d forgotten about the Skittles guy. That one was really funny too! Thanks, Rachel!

  5. Joseph Giorgi

    To be honest, I really like that “Pure Michigan” campaign. Those commercials are just so inviting. And Tim Allen’s voice totally adds to the appeal.

    And of course, the nostalgic appeal of the Chevy commercial is irresistible.

    Great post, Amy!

    • amy

      Thanks, Joe 🙂 The “Pure Michigan” campaign is one that’s done perfectly, in my opinion. They aren’t constantly shown on TV or heard on the radio so when you do see or hear them, it’s always well received.

      Along with Jen, I love old pictures. I thought this was a great example of the ‘nostalgic’ appeal. Glad you liked it too 🙂

  6. david k waltz


    With respect to the “motivation to purchase” factor, it doesn’t seem like all ads have this component. Does this mean they are poorly done, or seeking to achieve other objectives (image, status, etc.)?

    • amy

      Hey David. Great question!

      I think that using the image or status objectives that you mentioned could be a way to motivate a purchase from a customer. It’s almost as if the marketer is saying, “Hey! Buy this awesome car and you could look this cool too!” of “Buy this brand of cell phone and people will know you’re important”. They don’t explicitly say it, but the idea gets in our brains nonetheless.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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