For my advertising class the big project at the end of the semester was to create a line extension(like a new flavor or variety of a line that already exists) and create advertisements for it, and then use a budget to plan where we’d put those advertisements to be most effective.

We did it as a group project, with each person acting as a different department in a advertising agency. I worked on the creative part – my “job” was to come up with a television advertisement for our product, Banana Walnut Special K cereal.

Our group had determined that the target market for such a product would be females ages 18 and up. Women with busy lives who needed a quick and healthy breakfast, and also women concerned with weight loss. Based on that information I decided to gear the commercial specifically to women with children, using younger children in my commercial but wording it in a way that could impact moms with children of any age.

So when creating the advertisement, I thought about how children of any age where they’re living at home can tend to make a mom’s life a little chaotic, and those moms spend a lot of their time sacrificing their needs for their children’s. Ask any mom and she’ll say she’s happy to do that for her kids because she loves them – but ask her if she enjoys a few minutes a day to herself and I bet she’ll agree.

This is where Randy Pausch and the book I read came into play. He talked about airplanes. You know how when you get on an airplane and they play that video telling you what to do in an emergency? And they tell you that if that cabin were to lose pressure and the oxygen masks would drop down, you’re supposed to put on your own mask before assisting those around you. You need to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.

I felt like that’s a generally simple concept that people understand and have heard before – but that they don’t always remember and put into play. So in the commercial, I told moms to take a moment to take care of themselves – so they can take care of the kids they love. It appeals to the woman’s desire to be a great mom – and confirms that they can do that while taking time to themselves. The imagery in the commercial connects those things to Special K, showing moms how our product can help them do that.

Forgive the roughness -- but to create the storyboard I took pictures of Jilane as the mom with some of our guy friends playing the kids. Well, that didn't turn out so well, because you could see their biceps, and little kids don't have biceps. So I had to put Ty and Jacob in to be kids.

The commercial starts out with two kids sitting at a dinner table eating breakfast, and you can see their mom in the background looking at them, with soft, normal breakfast noises like spoons hitting bowls and the kid's movement.

Then the focus switches to mom, because our product is for her, not them, while a voiceover says, "you know breakfast is an important part of their day..."

"...but did you know it's an important part of your day too?"
The screen shot changes to her reaching to get a box of Special K out of the cupboard.
As she pours herself a bowl and moves to sit down in a comfy chair, separate from the kids but where she can see them, a voice over says, "take a moment to take care of yourself..."

Looking at this now I would've shot it differently, but I didn't have the whole commercial figured out the way it turned out to be when I was shooting. I'd rather have a side shot that shows the side of her face as she takes a bite of cereal and then looks up at the kids, but this shows the idea.

"...so you can take care of them."

As that's being said, the view switches from the side shot of the mom to the kids, because that's again what she loves.

I ended the commercial then with a product shot, and a voice over saying,
"Start your day with Special K", the slogan we'd come up with.
It was actually a really fun project. And my teacher liked it, which I was worried about, because he's really hard to read and he wasn't very clear on our expectations. But he loved the airplane concept and thought the ads looked good. Most of the groups did a line extension of alcohol, but he said we took a boring product and made it interesting, which is pretty much the goal of advertising. I was happy -- definitely the best final I had!

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