Description of Adverts Associated with Christmas: Analytical Essay

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Towards the end of the year many brands participate in creating commercial adverts associated to the celebrative and festive season of Christmas. This widely significant time of year is where consumerism finds itself at its utmost peak and therefore, many companies’ channel their marketing efforts in relaying information and communicating a message to the public with a televised ad. This written essay will describe and thoroughly evaluate a selected commercial belonging to festal period of 2019. Apple came forth with their advertisement: ‘Holiday – The Surprise’; warmer than ever Apple tapped into various themes in order to reach their audience. Advertisements can be defined as: ‘‘intertextual concepts’’ being communicated at the same time as carrying significant themes and forms of exhibition or ‘‘presentation’’ via the chosen medium of delivery. (Wharton, 2014). For one to be able to measure whether such ad was executed in a proper manner in delivering the brand’s message, an analytical framework must be implemented. The selected analytical lens is one that grasps its perspective in the Psychological view. The essay will also focus on how the ad could potentially be received by the audience and its significant impact in terms on the consumer behaviour and attitude accordingly.

Advert Description:

The video commences by showing us a busy nuclear family prepping in the car as they leave for the airport. We are first presented with the two irritable young daughters of the couple arguing and squabbling in the back seats. This is all happening as the ad plays us a rather sincere and nostalgic Christmas themed tune. As a result of the commotion caused by the two girls the father almost intuitively reaches for the iPad and its hands it to them thus, calming them. This is virtually Apple’s attempt at irony as the perception of young children using (or overusing) their products is an obvious and perhaps notorious notion shared amongst the general public. Once aboard the plane the same idea is the again reinforced. We are shown the overly active and impatient girls in one shot and subsequently before taking his seat the tired father then grabs the iPad resulting in the second shot: which portrays the parents finally at ease having some rest and asleep whilst the girls are fully immersed with the apple product for the duration of the flight. Here the brand is making a direct correlation between harmony and the product. Soon after this we discover that the destination is in fact their Grandfather’s house and is where they will be spending Christmas. Upon their arrival to the house the ad begins shift to a more emotional posture as the girls ask if ‘‘Grandpa is still sad?’’ inferring the idea that he is mourning and as the viewer we can deduce that he is handling the loss of his former spouse. On the build-up to Christmas day the girls are conveyed to seem like they are innocently using the iPad as they usually would. We even hear the father proposing he put a movie on the iPad for them as a method of distraction so that they would be less disruptive for ‘Grandpa’ as he is shown nodding his head in discontent and we as the viewer assume that he is still saddened and grieving. We see both girls running around taking pictures of the family and the dog whilst playing. As they explore the house, they then come across old pictures and footage of their Grandma on an old videocassette player and one of the girls then reacts by stating ‘I miss her’. In the following part both daughters are caught making noise at night as they stay up using the device under the covers and are told off as a result. At this point they appear to be excessively engaging with the device with purpose and some form of motivation. As we begin to reach the end of the advertisement, we arrive at glorious Christmas day where the children are eager to give their Grandfather his gift however, they also mention ‘it’s for all of you’’ referring to the whole family. Upon opening the gift, the gathered adults seem rather unimpressed and frankly annoyed as it simply is the iPad which belongs to the girls in wrapping paper. Their mother even states sarcastically: ‘ha ha girls…’ as if it were a particle joke or a prank. As the event unfolds the girls reveal what they have secretly been working on since they arrived. To everyone’s bewilderment the children present a somewhat intricate project and a creative slide-show with the old footage they came across leaving the adults speechless and in awe. This collection of old and current memories plays out to be warmest and most profound moment of the ad. The ‘Grandfather’ is shown smiling for the first time which soon becomes laughter. At this turning point of a narrative the ‘Grandfather’ is then brought to tears as the slide ends with an impactful and warm-felt message articulating that despite ‘Grandma’ not being present in that moment the whole family was united together: ‘‘Nana might not be here but we are all still together’’. Apple then concludes its three minute advert by writing ‘‘Make Someone’s Holiday’’ followed by their logo with a gift ribbon tied to it. The advert plays on the family dynamic and many visceral themes which are key during this time of year. Drawing upon the elements offered by this advert it could be said that the brand is attempting to develop and adjust its product perception, it wishes to expand the parameters of the iPad allowing the audience to view beyond the physical device itself. The brand wishes that the public understands the many more possibilities that the product has to offer. In this case; instead of the device being just a mere distraction to tame energetic children it was a portal and instrument of joy where the children were able to unbridle their imagination and produce something tangible and of sentimental substance. In an era where many perceive technological devices to be linked to isolation and antisocial behaviour, Apple intends to reshape and reverse this view by associating themselves with the opposite side of the spectrum: unity and intimacy. Proposing the ideal gift for everyone in the family this Christmas.

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Analytical Lens:

Analysis can be approached from many varying angles. Given the selected Psychological avenue, the Elaboration Likelihood Model will be applied in order to carry out the evaluation of the discussed advert. Referring to this model the term ‘Elaboration’ denotes the intensity of mental processing which is required to assess a received message. It discusses the supposed thinking effort placed into determining whether the communicated message is accepted or opposed. The model itself claims: “under low elaboration likelihood, source factors serve as simple acceptance or rejection cues under moderate elaboration likelihood source factors guide the extent of thinking; and under high elaboration likelihood, source factors are unimportant as cues or general motivators of thought but (if relevant) serve as persuasive arguments or help in interpreting arguments” (Petty et al, 1984, p.668). A myriad of possibilities are available when it comes to how information can be communicated. Subject to how such information is given, distinctive attitudes can be made by the consumers receiving it. These views and attitudes are impacted by the flow of information via two separate courses of direction. The model brings forth its notion of two routes: we have the central route and peripheral route. The first of the two paths rationalises that in the presence of elevated levels of elaboration the viewer is driven to looking out for what seems immediately beneficial. By doing this they circumvent distraction and attention is then channelled onto the advert and all is elements.


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