The “Comfortable” Super Bowl Commercial
The first advertisement that grabbed my attention was the “Comfortable” Super Bowl commercial on TV. In an ad for the real estate company Rocket Mortgage, the “Games of Thrones” actor Jason Momoa comes home after a long day. Known for playing extremely masculine characters in movies and TV series, Momoa seeks comfort within the confines of his house. Barely through the door, Jason takes off the shoes that make him look taller. Walking around the house, the actor removes pads that give his body a toned, muscled look. Finally, he gets rid of the wig with luscious black locks that he is known for. The new, “real” version of Jason Momoa is unsightly: it is a lanky, brittle man with bald patches on his head. However, the actor does not seem to be bothered by his transformation: he relaxes on the couch in the living room and plays the guitar.
During that Super Bowl broadcast, I saw a few other advertisements approximately shortly before and after the “Comfortable” commercial with Jason Momoa. Among those that stood out to me were Amazon’s Alexa advertisement and Snickers’ “Snickers Fix the World.” Amazon’s commercial was depicting the world before the introduction of the virtual assistant. The video itself is quite funny: it shows actors asking each other questions that they would typically address to Alexa today. I would say it was efficient because it used humor, and the actors’ delivery was noteworthy. The message in Snickers’ commercial communicated how helpful Snickers bars are in making the world better. While I appreciated the relatable comedy of the video, I found it too grotesque to be truly effective. While watching the Rocket Mortgage commercial, I was distracted by my friends who tried to discuss the Super Bowl with me.
The Rocket Mortgage advertisement is captured by selective attention – the type of attention that people use to fully concentrate on a task or an object (Lantos, 2015). Arguably, it is the most valuable type of attention in marketing as it allows companies to communicate their messages fully. Later I discovered that quite a lot of viewers distinguished this commercial and discussed it on social media. I attribute the success of this commercial to the masterful use of visual stimuli. Jason Momoa has an iconic look that his fans have known him for since the first season of Game of Thrones. For this reason, the transformation into a skinny, short man was especially memorable. It contained a bit of shock value, especially, in the moments when Jason was “removing” parts of his body. However, the producers struck a balance between funny and repelling.
L’Oreal Print Advertisement
The second advertisement that captured my attention lately was the L’Oreal print advertisement. I spotted it when I was flickering through women’s magazines while waiting for my doctor’s appointments. The advertisement was taking the entire page; it had a bright red background that immediately caught my eye. The commercial was titled “This is an Ad for Men” and depicted four lipsticks in which the inner, pigmented part was gradually showing out of the container. The legend under the lipsticks was denoting the percentage of women in leadership roles. A text on the side stated that at 30% of women in leadership roles, companies experience up to 15% more profitability. A fine print text under the title says “Hire more women in leadership roles. We’re all worth it.” Overall, the advertisement is quite minimalist with limited use of color and imagery.
While I was waiting for my appointment, I took a look at several other ads in the same magazine where the L’Oreal commercial was published. One of them was Estee Lauder’s campaign for their new foundations with the slogan “Wear Confidence.” The advertisement showed three women of different skin colors and possibly races, who were able to find a matching foundation for their skin tone among the company’s products. Therefore, they were confident about their looks, at least, according to the campaign’s message. I would say that the advertisement was visually pleasing; however, the philosophy behind it is somewhat questionable. It becomes apparent that the company makes female customers’ insecurities their selling point. It does not promote the type of confidence that comes from within: instead, it suggests that one buys a product to improve their self-esteem. Apart from other print commercials, I was also semi-distracted by other people talking to each other and the radio playing in the background.
I attribute the success of L’Oreal’s commercial in capturing my attention to its use of visual stimuli. Vision is the primary perception channel in the majority of people, and I am not an exception (Haugtvedt, Herr & Kardes, 2018). Firstly, the color choice was bold and daring: the plain red can be both attractive and disturbing, but the commercial managed to focus on the former. Secondly, the imagery was confusing and at the same time intriguing. L’Oreal is a company that mostly markets its products to women, which is why the title raised questions. At first glance, the imagery appeared to be suggestive, especially given that it was the men who were targeted. However, after reading the legend, it was interesting to learn the statistics behind female leadership and the cause that the company is promoting.
Haugtvedt, C. P., Herr, P. M., & Kardes, F. R. (Eds.). (2018). Handbook of consumer psychology. Routledge.
Lantos, G. P. (2015). Consumer behavior in action: Real-life applications for marketing managers. Routledge.