How Apple, Nike, Amazon, and Modelo Design Better Commercials
Viewers don’t need to watch commercials anymore and that's what makes these 4 commercials the more impressive
Today, a viewer simply doesn't need to watch commercials. Online environments provide viewers the ability to skip after 3–5 seconds. Live TV is abandoned during commercials as viewers opt for endless social media scrolling, and commercials during recorded broadcasts are fast-forwarded through.
That’s what makes these 4 commercials from Amazon, Nike, Apple, and Model stand out so much.
In unique ways, each commercial is effective in engendering a motivation to be better in the viewer, as well as allowing the viewer to arrive at that state themselves.
Apple | Behind The Mac
The most inspiring way to convey a vision is to outsource it to people who are acutely affected by it. Apple did that.
Weaving known and unknown characters, Apple conveyed their vision.
The first line of this commercial narrates “There’s a certain kind of person,” priming viewers to self-identify with one of the characters in this commercial.
The commercial closes with a return to this line, and then some: There’s a certain kind of person who doesn’t wait for greatness. They make it.
This line alerts the viewer that the characters in this commercial, are that type of person. Even more, all these characters are Mac users, suggesting that all Mac users are that certain type of person.
It’d be challenging to watch this commercial and not want to be considered that type of person. In this commercial, Apple sells the path to becoming that type of person: purchase a Mac.
Nike | You Can’t Stop Us
In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant writes, “Instead of assuming that others share principles, or trying to convince them to adopt ours, we ought to present our values as a means of pursuing theirs.”
In You Can’t Stop Us, Nike elevates perseverance, with a closing line of “And no matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we can do together.”
Nike believes if you have a body, you are an athlete, and as a brand, they strive to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world.
Weaving obstacles through known and unknown characters presented as peers, Nike praises the perseverance of each character. If Nike’s goal is to end with the viewer considering themselves an athlete, (their value), they do a great job of allowing the viewer to arrive there themselves.
Identifying as a person with aspirations and obstacles in the way, the viewer absorbs this you can’t stop us attitude.
They become a Nike athlete.
The only thing delaying the full transformation into a Nike athlete is some gear…
Modelo | The Fighting Spirit of DJ Citizen Jane
This 15-second profile on DJ Citizen Jane is an effective punch.
The narration of “If DJ Citizen Jane let starting at the bottom scare her, she wouldn’t be electrifying the crowd in sold-out shows around the world,” activates the logic of appropriateness: What should a person like me do in a situation like this?
The viewer asks themselves this question, speaking directly to the person who feels they haven’t gotten their chance yet, but isn’t discouraged by this.
This viewer knows their window of opportunity may be narrow, and they plan to either squeeze or force their way through. Modelo in hand, because Modelo supports the underdog.
Everyone can identify with the underdog.
Amazon | Meet Brendan
Agree with it or not, Amazon uses the character of Brendan to alter the viewer's perception of the brand. When Brendan signs “I want to create a more inclusive and accessible world”, the viewer understands that he can achieve this with Amazon as a partner.
In The 22 Immutables Laws of Marketing, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout present The Law of Perception which asks what does your name (brand) stand for?
When people hear your brand's name, what do they think of?
Today, Amazon is riddled with scandal, strikes, and reports of brutal workplace treatment. This commercial works to silence it.
The viewer watches this commercial, meeting Brendan and his family, and it becomes far-fetched that Amazon would treat employees unfairly.
The truth is that Brendan’s experience and the experiences of warehouse workers are not mutually exclusive. They can both be true.
This commercial is also effective in positioning Amazon as a problem solver. If Brendan wants to create a more inclusive and accessible world, and he is doing it with Amazon, then Amazon must be a problem solver.
Being an Amazon supporter will lead to more equitable innovations for all, the viewer takes away.
Each of these commercials introduces us to a character, known or unknown, at a peer-to-peer level.
Each character may not be an underdog, but they are presented as someone who has persevered.
We root for these characters and love to self-identify with them.
As to how effective these commercials are, I use Apple products and have an Amazon Prime subscription with a delivery set for this afternoon. I don’t drink, so Modelo will remain admired not consumed, while I plan my next shopping excursion to the Nike outlet nearby.
75% is passing.
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