The Theatre of Persuasion

In the transpired time since I began paying close attention to advertisements and promotions, I've noticed growing employment of a specific cinematic style in commercials. In this style, numerous close-ups and fast cuts combine to build extra-real sequences. These spots tend to have little or no dialogue, rather than extol the virtues of a product or brand they build an emotional relationship with the audience, a feeling the viewer retains after the spot. These spurts of cinema have become more than commercials, more than simple promotion. The example below is a legitimate documentary made in relation to the Jack Daniel's brand, concerning the production of posters used to boost their brand. Rather than discuss how good of a whiskey Jack Daniel's is, the documentary probes the depths of the brand, solidifying the promise made in previous promotions and the bottle's labelling by explaining the attention to detail and adherence to tradition that is crucial to the Jack Daniel's brand.



The banjo accompaniment, the vibrant color of the poster contrasted to the understated visual tone of the workshop, the intensive cinematography, this is a new genre of film. And the use of the whiskey in the paint, a believable brushstroke of hyper-branding. These brand documentaries exist in a completely separate sector from the 30-second spot, they don't feel like the commercials we grew up on. The question I ask is, what looms on the horizon? Right now you can write a film intended to promote a specific product, what more can motion pictures offer to brands?

My thoughts? Promotional people. The logical evolution of Bzzz! Agents, behold the Brand Agent. These 'people' will be genetically engineered, flawless, humanity at its apparent peak. However, they would lack free will and independent personality. They will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder and made to endorse specific brands simply by living their life visibly with that brand. These makeshift men and women will revolutionize the advertising industry as we know it. Imagine, after a year long political campaign capturing the hearts of men, women, and adolescents across this nation of ours, the newly elected Prime Minister tells a story about sending his wife a custom Hallmark card. 'Dearest Love, I'm sorry I didn't make it home in time for dinner. I got elected Prime Minister. Same time tomorrow?' Not only are we now aware that Hallmark offers a custom card service, we're reminded of the brand overall, and attach Hallmark Cards to someone we respect, the Brand Agent.

The best part is, being orchestrated organisms, Brand Agents would be failsafe. They'd possess none of the failings of humanity, lacking the margin of error sentient beings can't seem to escape. Forget the days of worrying if the tennis player endorsing you're brand is going to be found with a racket handle up his chute. Gone are the times of dreading the possibility of the actor used in your commercials showing up at city hall with self-inflicted stigmata, wearing only tattoos of the Ten Commandments. These Brand Agents will solve a lot of problems, and isn't that really what this industry is about?

I'm joking, friends.

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