Advertising: Unit 30 – Outcome 4

For the advertising module my group and I created a thirty second moving picture to market Fry’s ‘Five Boys’ Chocolate. In doing so we established what we did correctly, and what we would change if we were to produce another advert. This document is an evaluation of my own performance within the group, the pre-production work, and the finished advert.

Our task was to make an advert for ANY chocolate bar, so we decided that it would be the most beneficial to choose a brand that had discontinued a certain bar years ago; so that there were no preconceived ideas about it. Fry’s ‘Five Boys’ Chocolate bars were discontinued in 1976 and they already had a marketing strategy, so this was an obvious choice to us.

Before we shot the advert we envisioned 4:3 aspect ratio and deep red colours with a de-saturated sepia overtone, to give the film a vintage feel. When I was editing the project I realised that using colour might actually detract from the continuity; the 4:3 aspect ratio with the film grain/silent film tiles gives off a 1920s look. I decided to re-cut it, de-saturating the colours completely, adding vignettes, sepia over-glow and a final shot of the chocolate bar (in the first cut it wasn’t obvious what product we were marketing). We decided that the second cut was more effective/coherent. I found that re-cutting the advert was the only way to really decide whether or not the first cut was working or not; which it wasn’t.

Our project lacked pre-production research massively. This is down to the fact that our idea was so simple. Within the first hour we had established exactly what product we were going to promote and how we’d do it. The filming of the advert took about ten minutes in total, so there isn’t a lot to reflect on. Perhaps we should’ve chosen a more in depth idea to film, which would give us more to plan, more to shoot, and more to edit. This would mean we could hit the essay targets more easily. Despite the fact that our project was so simple, I don’t regret making the decision to stick with the Fry’s project because it was our most creative explorative idea.

Our pre-production element of the project was in late and, albeit, slightly sparse – however this wasn’t helped by one group member leaving the course half way, so this left us with a bulk of work to complete between us, but nobody was obliged to do it. Had we given someone the role of producer, they could have dished out the work evenly and fairly; this was a group management issue, as everybody was too passive. I think my personal efforts were reasonably good when it came to writing paperwork and deciding upon the technical elements of the advert. I managed to get the work in punctually, and the edit ran as smoothly as it could have, taking about four hours in total (including the second edit).

We shot a practice cut of the advert two weeks before the official shoot. This helped us get an idea of what lens to use on the camera, find an ideal white balance, see what lighting set up to use. We used an 18-55mm zoom lens to shoot it. The wide angle nature helped us in the small space we were shooting in, and the high aperture wasn’t a problem, because we had access to lighting. Initially we planned to find a linen backdrop to go behind the subject, because the hessian fabric would give off a more vintage feel, especially the texture, when viewed in black and white. Unfortunately we didn’t have the budget, or the time to source this backdrop. I don’t think it was a major issue, as the background in the studio was the next best thing – however there’s an unsightly line above Alex’s head. I found the practice shoot very helpful for giving me an idea of the edit, as it’s a reasonably complicated edit. I learned that it would require colour adjustment, film grain (including lines, dust, flicker and hair), vignettes and sepia. This saved a lot of time when it came to the real thing. I chose the soundtrack and record player sound effects before we had shot the footage. For me the sound is the most important part of the advert, and we made the right decision.

I think this advert is fit for purpose, as it runs with Fry’s previously running theme. Fry’s Five Boys was running since 1886, so our advert fits into the timeline somewhere, and one could argue that it might be a relevant style in 2014, because trends are coming back around. The target audience for our advert is age 14+ because of the light-hearted nature. It’s easy to understand, and even as an older viewer it still has charm about it. The content is effective on younger people because the character in the advert is of a young age – which subconsciously makes him somehow relatable.

I believe that the technical qualities of this advert, the editing combined with the simplicity of the camerawork assist it in being a good marketing tool. Whilst our pre-production element lagged behind on this project, the group still pulled together to make as good an advert as possible, despite the issues within the group.


Advertising: Unit 30 – Outcome 1

Advertising on the television and other platforms, is engineered in a way that makes individuals feel as if they lack something in life – that can be satisfied by buying a product. For this approach to be successful certain structures and techniques are implemented when adverts are created.

In the ‘Do Us a Flavour’ advert by Walkers, we see Gary Lineker being harassed in the street by passers-by, requesting flavours for Walkers crisps. The anti-realist narrative structure makes viewers interested and engages their imaginations. Lineker is going about his daily routine, which seems reasonably mundane; when the writing on the floor of the tube station reads ‘MIND THE BAP’ we are thrown into a surreal universe. The surreal humour used in this advert gives the product a standalone reputation, which highlights its unique selling point. The odd flavours that Walkers produce have a positive light shone upon them with the appearance of Gary Lineker, a well known celebrity who has been endorsed by the company.

In 1994 Eveready released an advert for their Energizer Batteries. This advert still stands as extremely clever one with the use of parodic humour to promote their product. In the advert Darth Vader’s light saber runs out of batteries mid way through a dramatic duel with the Energizer Bunny. In the advert we see the early use of special effects, very simply but effectively used to create the beam from the light saber. The well crafted advert was bound to be a success because of the high production quality and iconic parody of Star Wars. In this advert, like many, the close up shot is used to reveal the topic of the advert. In this one, they used a close up of the failed batteries, to show the benefit of Energizer Batteries. Not only are they beneficial because they keep ‘going, and going, and going’ but they are superior to their competition and market contenders (SuperVolt, in this case).

Skittles recently made two adverts that were so shockingly vulgar that they were banned instantly, and this was no accident. Companies create certain adverts for the purpose of having them banned, because it catches the viewer’s curiosity. These particular adverts were part of a stand-alone series in which a man has sex with his partner, and ejaculates skittles all over her body. The advert is shot like a porno, with close up camera angles on the ‘Money Shot’. After this advert, a sequel was released whereby the female actor gives birth to a Reece’s Piece. This was also banned. Ofcom and ASA are advert regulators in the United Kingdom, and they have the power to ban adverts if they push the boundaries too much. Ofcom received over 400 complaints about the Skittles Superbowl advert.

As far as beer adverts go, Guinness are known to release intelligent, mature commercials that provoke emotion and thought, and they didn’t scuff their reputation with the 2014 ‘In Pursuit of More’ exhibition. This documentary based ad carries a dramatic feeling throughout, and it achieves this through the use of sound and music. The erratic nature of the piece ‘Dreams Come True’ in the background very much adds to the brand identity that Guinness drinkers connect with.

Most people are familiar with the British Gas adverts. They stood out to me as the most impactful animated adverts for the sheer visual qualities. The Christmas boiler breakdown service advert is all one shot, there are no cuts, and the only time the camera moves is at the end where there’s a slow dolly out. Obviously the effects used within this advert are quite advanced as we can see the use of particle graphics, multiple lights and 3d modelling. The USP of British Gas is that they offer a service all winter, where some smaller electric/gas companies might not – which relates to their audiences lifestyle appeal.