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Commercials as Entertainment September 24, 2006

Posted by vsvander in Advertising, Opinion.

About two weeks ago, one of my ex-coworkers e-mailed me a link to a funny commercial she had found on the Internet. Coincidentally, I had just given a group presentation on podcasting wherein I addressed the problem marketers had with embracing the new technology: Why would anyone choose to download an advertisement?

Apparently, there are multiple websites dedicated to sharing unusual and funny ads. Here’s what I found when I did a Google search — but I’m sure there are others as well:


I have to wonder, who are the ad geniuses that suckered the public into voluntarily watching commercials by dressing them as a form of cult entertainment? Do you agree that this is a peculiar phenomenon?



1. Celso - September 26, 2006

The ad geniuses are many times, the general public, who enjoy watching entertaining content whenever, however and how often they want. This phenomenon is only a sliver of the user-generated content wave that has created what many came to know as the Web 2.0. The Internet, like many other technologies, is simply the enabler, the conduit that empowers people to create, gather, select and reproduce relevant media.

2. mdtanenbaum - September 28, 2006

The ad geniuses must have learned a thing or two from the way that file sharing and music downloading propagated music in the late 1990s by “viral marketing”: people love to forward stuff on to their friends, and the very act of receiving a song, video or commercial from a person whom you know and trust and whose taste you respect, bestows value on that article of media. Like Celso commented above, the real ad geniuses are you and me, the agents of transmission.

3. vsvander - September 28, 2006

This viral marketing/2.0 technology phenomenon brings to mind the movie “Demolition Man” with Sylvester Stallone that came out in 1993. The movie takes place in a futuristic society where on the “oldies” radio station is played past advertising jingles, but no real music.
Or, on a more positive note, you could take the stance that what is occuring these days is more akin to Andy Warhol’s pop art — where he recognized the use of advertising to be so ubiquitous that it had in fact become a new art medium — and thus he called attention to this art form by painting such things as Campbell’s Soup can labels.

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