Everything is a Joke

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Everything is a Joke

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The Super Bowl ad campaigns delivered this year bring me to believe that either all agencies or corporate America as a whole wants to laugh…or maybe that’s just what consumers want? As I was watching the placements on USA ad meter and during the game, I was laughing and feeling like I could choose to not take life as seriously just like these brands.

Olay’s Killer Skin placement makes fun of scary movies just like the Scary Movie series did years ago from the onset of the commercial. It is humorous that the woman compares her current facial skin to an obviously tampered-with picture of her that makes her look like her skin had so many problems pre-Olay that it could be described as “scary”. And, cleverly enough the name of the ad, “Olay’s Killer Skin” as a play on words is applied well in the commercial.

I do have a criticism, however. It seems that since the commercial begins with a cheesy scary movie scene, and because the woman’s comparison photo is not authentic, this ad makes Olay appear to be poking fun at the beauty product industry. Is Olay making fun of the fact that people actually believe using serums and lotions can change the quality of skin? It’s unclear.

It could also be that brands and agencies alike are aware of the fact that consumers know how to spot advertising. Because of that, making fun of advertising in an ad can be humorous and can communicate to consumers that they as a brand are not attempting to trick anyone. Also, since watching Super Bowl ads has been a significant part of the event in of itself for so long now, making humorous ads that make fun of advertising seems fitting.

Other ads that obviously were poking fun include Amazon’s Alexa Not Everything Makes the Cut. In an age where AI is proliferating, it is funny to make fun of ourselves for actually becoming the futuristic society we once just made movies about. Turbotax makes a crack at this too, as well as Michelob Ultra.

Most ads really did not have much to do with the brand nor the products including the Avocados from Mexico’s Top Dog ad and Mint Mobile’s Chunky Style Milk placement (other than the cause related ads). My assumption is that advertisers are more so relying on the sleeper effect and/or the recency effect in their more blatant ads.


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SPARKsouthSeptember 28, 2018
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