Dave Studies Media

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Cool Cycle

Tonight I was half-watching CNN while "doing work" on my laptop, when an ad that came on made me stop and look up. I recognized the song "In the Morning" by Junior Boys, a small group from my hometown of Hamilton. It was an ad, (part of a new campaign as I found out after a quick search) for the Marriott hotel chain.

Searching YouTube, I've been unable to dig up the exact ad I saw on TV, but the point of the new commercials is how well-equipped Marriott's rooms are now. Presumably they're referring to decent WiFi access and, well, who knows what else exactly. The ads show people enjoying a variety of different media like high-quality music and big or multiple visualizations on screens. Of course, the media are depicted through animation instead of actual footage, so the specific perks Marriott's rooms have to offer remain ambiguous.

I noticed that in the commercial featuring "In the Morning", the girl appears to be holding an iPod. If it's not an iPod, it's a very iPod-like device. This got me thinking about using already-successful products to boost your own image. We're all familiar with product placement in films, and pundits on CNN sit around at large desks armed with laptops clearly brandishing the Apple logo. However, I can't think of any examples of companies trying to cash in on the success of unrelated products. I imagine it happens though.

In any case, I thought it was ironic considering our recent observation of Apple's own advertising efforts. As Lauren pointed out recently, the old commercial employed popular ideas, a sort of pathos argument appealing to widespread reverence of certain figures like Einstein and Gandhi. The commercial reminded viewers that Apple is cool because they're edgy and rebellious. Now the cycle continues with everyone and their mother using Apple's image to hopefully sell the idea that they're as cool as Muhammad Ali.

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