[video] Sears – “The Beach” Commercial Review by Advertising Expert Tim Burt

A loyal reader kindly asked me if I’d review the following commercial for Sears:

This Receives an “A+”…

In the area of “unexpectedness“, in two places.

First, the setup reminded me of a commercial for Abercrombie, Old Navy, some perfume, etc., etc…with its mindless sayings scrawled on the screen. Add in the “alt-pop-rock” music track, and we’re headed to the mall (or outlet mall) to pick up some jeans and crew-neck t-shirts.

Secondly, were you as surprised as I was when he ran into the refrigerator on the beach?

These are two fantastic uses of “unexpectedness”.

But they come with a price…

This Gets A “D” For…


This is a problem symptomatic of far too many current advertisements. They follow a (highly flawed) formula:

Random comedic setup + confusing twist and/or awkward moment + brief product description + client name mention = Effective Advertisement

WRONG. On every level.

I understand what Sears was attempting to execute here.

Their message of “only Sears has the top 10 appliance brands” however, is greatly overshadowed by the unexpectedness itself.

Then, add in the woman (blindly, stupidly) running into the refrigerator while her (equally oblivious) boyfriend is in the sand, and the humor has effectively killed your message.

I have to wonder at this point if anyone really, truly, honestly cares that Sears has the top 10 national brands of appliances.

What Can Sears Do?

“Funny” rarely, if ever moves people to action. Especially to buy a major household appliance.

So you have the 10 biggest brands.

So what?

So does Amazon and eBay, and probably Craigslist. I’m sure Best Buy, and dozens of other places online do, too.

Will you match your competitors’ lowest price? Will you deliver for free? Will you guarantee parts and labor should something go wrong above and beyond the manufacturer?

If you can’t answer those questions, I’m sorry…I’ll find a retailer (online or otherwise) who will.

In Summary…

Sears, you get an A+ for artistic sensibility and use of “unexpectedness”.

Overall, though…your message fails to hit any substantial mark.

Therefore, your ad is washed up…even though I really wanted to like it.




About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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3 Responses to [video] Sears – “The Beach” Commercial Review by Advertising Expert Tim Burt

  1. Go buy your refridgerator at an online only store and pay twice as much, since it has to be shipped. Sears’ appliance competitors aren’t online only stores. It’s Lowe’s and Home Depot. This commercial makes me think “Why would Sears have more top brands than Home Depot and Lowe’s?” Then I rationalize that they must be a good place to shop for appliances. Would mentioning that they price match or have extended warranties do this? No, b/c anybody and everybody makes that statement, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sears, but how many of these appliance sellers can make a factual statement like the one made in this commercial.

    I give you a “D” for you analysis.

    • timburtmedia says:


      Thanks for your comment. You bring up a valid point, but the bottom line for me in advertising is: does this commercial make me want to buy?

      Their differentiation between the other “big box stores” (having the top 10 brands) is okay…but it was far overshadowed by the humor point in the commercial.

      I’ve shown this commercial to numerous interns of mine, and immediately after it ended, I asked them what they recalled. The overwhelming answer? The couple running into the appliance on the beach. The second most popular answer: the “unexpectedness” aspect, which I alluded to in my initial critique.

      They all struggled to mention “Sears”. That’s a massive problem.

      If nobody can recall the advertiser, then what is the point of the advertisement?

      Their singular message (we have the top 10 brands under one roof) is certainly one not being touted by other retailers. However, when it’s buried under humor and a misleading category (the beginning could be for jeans, perfume, etc.), they miss the mark.

      Again, thank you for reading and commenting.

      Tim Burt

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