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TV commercials as mini-dramas

/ 02:48 PM December 24, 2011

The teleserye craze has become such a hit that it’s spawned a new “sub-trend”—lengthy TV commercials in the form of mini-dramas that plug a product while telling a story and tugging at viewer’s heartstrings.

Of the examples of the new trend we’ve watched to date, two stand out. First, a freshly-minted spot for baby diapers that plucks decidedly lighter and more whimsical strings. In its very short story, the mother of the baby buys cheap diapers and takes her child to auditions for talented tots to appear in a commercial, but the baby is irritable and projects poorly.

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On the other hand, another child wearing the diaper brand being advertised feels happy and contented—and thus delights the audition master with his cute antics and reactions—

and gets the job, even if he and his mother were at the audition site only to “make miron.”

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The commercial appears to be longer and more expensive to produce than usual, but it’s worth the extra expense, because its light and humorous tone predisposes the viewer to feel more upbeat about the product being advertised.

This shows that an added story hook is definitely a plus, particularly for teleserye-oriented viewers, because the additional backstory and better-developed characters enhance identification and empathy.

The light, humorous approach is called for due to the child-related product being introduced. The droll, whimsical style softens the selling and makes the product more personally valuable to the mothers who are the spot’s intended market.

The second “story commercial” we’re citing, for a milk product, opts for a more emotional approach and banks on the appeal of a family story—

and the warm glow that the Christmas season evokes in Filipino viewers.

In its story, Isay Alvarez plays the mother of a young boy who misses his OFW dad. To distract himself from the sadness he feels, he collects milk cans and creates a telephone circuit that enables him to talk to his loved ones—including his father, through his mom’s mobile phone, pressed close to his makeshift receiver.

Isay and the child actor who plays the boy hit the right note with their portrayals—emotional enough to be touching, but never heavy-handed or excessively lugubrious, for the viewer to feel that his buttons are being too cynically punched and manipulated.

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These two effective examples indicate that the new trend isn’t just a seasonal attraction, but could boost product sales throughout the year. Advertisers will be encouraged to tell empathetic or entertaining stories, to increase sales and also to enhance their manufacturing companies’ image and psychological appeal to viewers.

In a generally impersonal marketplace where the financial bottom line sometimes makes commercial’s sales pitches too strident for words, the story spots could provide savvy advertisers with the extra touch or emotional twist that will result in their product being preferred—and bought.

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TAGS: advertisement, commercials, Drama, Television
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