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 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.
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.