The Good Ad

dove-chocolate-hed-2016
A scene from Dove Chocolate’s Each and Every Day ad.

Dove Chocolate’s Each and Every Day ad

a) Is the creative approach consistent with the message strategy and objectives? Does it communicate what it is supposed to?

The objective of this ad is to create awareness and liking for Dove Chocolate, placing it in the cognitive/affective realm of Belch & Belch’s hierarchy of effects scale (Pickton & Broderick 2005, p.131). The message – that eating chocolate and living life with abandon (and without regret) makes you more beautiful as you age – is perfectly matched with the Edith Piaf soundtrack and stunning visuals. 

b) Is the creative approach appropriate for the target audience?

The target audience is girls and women of any age and the creative approach is spot-on, precisely because it ignores the common trope that women have a fraught relationship with chocolate. Turning the woman-and-her-guilty-pleasure stereotype on its head, the Dove advertisement empowers both the audience and the brand.

c) Does the creative approach communicate a clear and convincing message to the consumer?

This ad communicates that living life every day on your terms keeps you young even as you age. The consistency of the blue dress in every scene is a resonant trope that clearly communicates body confidence (and lifelong weight maintenance), without a word being spoken throughout the ad (Stathakopoulos et al., 2008, p.629). It is a clever instance of “visual Esperanto” and subtle branding that transcends international language and cultural barriers (Clow & Baack 2012, p.175).

d) Is the creative approach appropriate for the media environment in which it is likely to be seen?

The ads appeared on television and online, in 60- and 90-second formats (Natividad 2016), which is appropriate. It would also work very well as a cinema ad. 

The Bad Ad

first billboard
The billboard carries the headline (obscured by glare): “Boys have two speeds: flat out and stop.” (Branding removed).

a) Is the creative approach consistent with the message strategy and objectives? Does it communicate what it is supposed to?

The billboard’s objective is to create awareness of a boys’ college as an option in the competitive private school marketplace. Its strategy is to invite families to a college open evening. But its creative approach fails to explain why parents should make attending the open evening their priority; that is, what the school would offer them that would differentiate it in the marketplace. As such, the creative approach fails.

b) Is the creative approach appropriate for the target audience?

The billboard’s target audience is prospective parents. The headline reads: “Boys have two speeds: flat out and stop” and is accompanied by a photo of boys running. There is little connection between the headline and the photo and no attempt at resonance – the “echoing or doubleness of meaning” that would cause the billboard to stay in parents’ minds (Stathakopoulos et al., 2008, p.629).

c) Does the creative approach communicate a clear and convincing message to the consumer?

The headline is the sort of joke a headmaster might make about boys but in this execution it is not an advertising appeal. It is not factual, does not offer a solution to a problem or a comparison to other schools and its humour is unoriginal and shallow (Pickton & Broderick 2005a). It is a stand-alone joke, the purpose of which is confusing.   

d) Is the creative approach appropriate for the media environment in which it is likely to be seen?

The billboard sits on a highway in the college’s catchment area. Private schools commonly advertise on billboards in this corridor, which makes the media strategy appropriate for the service offered.

CLOSE-UP BILLABOARD
A close-up of the same billboard (with branding removed).

References

Clow, K & Baack, D 2012, ‘Advertising design: Theoretical frameworks and types of appeals’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 168-195.

Natividad, A 2016, ‘Ad of the Day: Dove Chocolate’s Latest Heroine Lives a Whole Life in One Magical Day’, Mumbrella, 24 August, viewed 28 August 2016, goo.gl/rlLTVY.

Pickton, D & Broderick, A 2005, ‘Setting objectives, determining strategy and tactics’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp.121-166.

Pickton, D & Broderick, A 2005a, ‘Creative implementation’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 151-166.

Stathakopoulos, V, Theodorakis, I G, & Mastoridou, E 2008, ‘Visual and verbal rhetoric in advertising: The case of ‘resonance”, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 629-658, viewed 27 August 2016, goo.gl/10sgOl.

Dove Chocolate – Each and Every Day: 90 2016, YouTube, 22 August, viewed 28 August 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sFSelSVFlo.

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