Advertising – Peter Kay’s John Smiths Campaign

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We are swarmed by advertising. Companies constantly battle to compete for the sale of their product. Adverts appear in every form of media including radio; television; Internet; billboards; newspaper; flyers and magazines. The advertiser wants us to buy their product above their competitors. The basic aim of advertising is to convince the target audience that their product is the best in the field and superior to the other products of similarity. This should increase demand. Sometimes, to prove they are better than their rivals, companies actually compare statistics in adverts.

This is allowed if the comparisons are factual evidence. Another tactic used in promotions is to use phrases such as, “new improved! ” Which implies that the product is better quality than before. For an advertisement to have its full impact the target audience has to be identified, enabling the advertiser to stereotype the consumer the product would appeal to. John Smith’s television advertisement is more effective because it uses the same character, Peter Kay, so the audiences are familiar with him and his humour. They associate him with the product.

By putting him in different situations you can convey new persuasive devices but keep the familiarity of the ‘no-nonsense’ slogan, which is associated with John Smiths. In their previous advertisement they use a ‘card board man’ they have the familiarity but it was aimed at a different audience, as he was always with ‘the perfect women’ in a luxurious location. The new advertising campaign is more relevant with today’s society. With the craze of reality television the audience like to see people they can relate to and appeal to the target audience of men of all classes.

The first advert in the series is set at a diving competition. The format is as follows: three competitors are taking part. The first contestant approaches and takes his dive; we perceive a side angle view. As he hits the water the angle changes to a bird’s eye view, this creates an aura of professionalism. His dive appears to be excellent and the narrator makes a positive remark. The tension begins to gather as the narrator gives a running commentary, also giving a sense of realism.

As the Canadian contestant approaches for his dive, the same professional camera angles are used as were for the Austrian. This dive appears to be even better than the first and scores highly. The third and final British contestant is Peter Kay. As he approaches the camera angle gives a full frontal view of his physique, which looks rather unfit and inappropriate for a diver. Instead of doing a professional dive he ‘dives bombs’ into the water creating a big splash, this symbolises ‘no-nonsense’ being straight to the point and no complex moves.

Then scoring maximum 10 points. The commentator shows enthusiasm and the audience is elated as Kay leaves the pool exposing his posterior that is contrasted against a close up of a ‘perfect pint’ and a distant shot of ‘not so perfect’ Peter Kay and his bottom. With this close up of john smiths and long shot of Peter Kay makes our eye perceive that pint as being larger than it really is. The commentator says, “Top bombing” while we are shown freeze frame of Peter Kay, which is effective as it sounds like top bumming. This advert is effective because of the irony.

Its funny as in a real situation Peter Kay wouldn’t have won, he seems unfit and his dive was the worst of the three. Although the situation is unreal, realism is created by the use of the narrator’s tone, judges and scores as in a real competition. The advert is implicit as it implies that anyone can enjoy the product, regards of their shape or class. It also implies that any one can be a winner. The target consumer is a whole range of males. The advert would appeal to them as the advert revolves around the stereotypical man who would be into sport and beer.

They would find it humorous and could associate the ‘average man’ who in the advert triumphs. I like this advert because it gets over necessary information, but in an entertaining and amusing way in which the irony and naturalism creates The second advert is set in an Indian restaurant where it is dim giving a sense of it being night time and informality. The cultural feeling is set through the Indian music. The atmosphere is one of laughter, drinks etc as couples enjoy their meal.

Peter Kay’s phone ring, he’s obviously talking to his daughter from they way he’s simplistically speaking and informing us what’s happening in the conversation. The dramatic irony is that we aren’t aware of what she’s saying, which makes it more intriguing. From the one sided conversation gather she’s having trouble sleeping because of the ‘wardrobe monsters. ‘ The humour is very visual and wouldn’t be as effective without the clever use of camera angles and shots. A close camera view of Peter Kay’s used during the conversation for a more intimate and involved feeling.

The camera moves round to the other diner’s, showing their reaction. They seem to be impressed by his caring attitude towards his daughter. The whole feeling of the advert changes from childish fantasy to serious threat, as Peter Kay says, “… Its the burglars coming through the window you want watch out for… ” At the end of the telephone conversation he ironically says, “Sweet dreams! ” this is ironic because she has no chance of sleeping now because of the fear of intruders. There is a pause and the camera is used to portray the shocked expressions.

The humours impact is increased again by Peter Kay’s complete ignorance of what he’s said wrong. As in the previous advert the setting is stereotypical of the target consumer, as before we had the combination of sport and beer as in the second advert it’s curry and beer. The setting is realistic because it’s typical of an Indian restaurant with background music, layout and decor. This advert is more simplistic and explicit than the others in the series. It’s a basic setting, the product is actually being drunk and the humour is visual and self-explanatory.

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