1992 Pepsi commercial with Cindy CrawfordCindy Crawford was a supermodel in 1992. Her face and body were instantly recognizable. It premiered during the 1992 Super bowl. In the ad, Crawford pulls up to an old gas station in a DeLorean sports car and emerges wearing cut off jean shorts, sunglasses and a white tank top. Her hair is long, full and highlighted. Crawford is filmed in slow motion walking toward a Pepsi machine. She inserts some coins, pulls the top of a cold can of Pepsi and drinks it while running her other hand through her hair. There’s a close-up of her drinking the Pepsi.

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While all of this is happening, two other things are happening at the same time: the background song is “Just One Look” from the 1960’s with the lyric, “Just one look and I fell so hard/In love with you.” At the same time, two young boys see Crawford drinking the Pepsi and their mouths hang open. As a viewer, you think they’re in awe of Crawford but at the end of the commercial, they say, “Is that a great new Pepsi can, or what?”

The commercial is targeting men – not only through the appeal of Crawford, but because it premiered during the Super Bowl – mostly watched by men. One generalization is that the young boys are enthralled with Crawford but instead their innocence comes through, as it’s the Pepsi can they love. The ad plays into the idea that a product can be promoted through sexual images and those images will make it more appealing to consumers.

I would say the stereotyping in this ad is obvious: a beautiful woman makes drinking a soft drink sexy. However, Crawford is a model and part of her job is to sell sex so it makes perfect sense that Pepsi used her in the ad to promote its product.

If I were the advertiser I would not change anything in this ad because in 1992, it was relevant and made sense to feature Cindy Crawford who was a huge draw at the time. It was also a time when Pepsi had come up with a new look for its soda cans.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKN77NjWXxg

The Staples Back to School Ad
In this series of ads, the background music is “It’s the Must Wonderful Time of the Year,” which is actually a Christmas song. The song plays and you see a mom or dad pushing a shopping chart through Staples jumping up and down with happiness. Behind them is a child walking slowly with his or head down. Then you hear a male voice say, “They’re going back!” and the parent teases the sad looking children by holding school supplies in front of them.

It’s a really funny ad (if you’re a parent) because it says what most parents think by the end of summer but may not want to say out loud: the kids are finally going back to school. This ad targets parents with school age children. The generalization is that some parents may miss their children when they go back to school in the fall, but not necessarily. One stereotype here is that kids hate when summer ends so that’s why they look so sad. This ad doesn’t as much change the attitude of viewers rather than play to a specific audience: parents. It plays into an assumption that parents want their kids out of the house come September.

If I were the advertiser I would not change anything about this ad because it transcends time and would have been humorous 20 years ago in the same way it is humorous now. The ad depicts the children as acting more “grown up” in the store than their parents who are prancing around and acting silly which plays against stereotype in that you expect the opposite. I think this ad is successful on different levels. It’s funny and you certainly associate the song, the humor and the image of a parent gleefully throwing school supplies in a cart and dancing around a store with Staples and its products. It also goes against stereotype in that the children are acting in a parental role (somber, serious) and the parents are acting like children (silly, goofing around). I wouldn’t do anything to change this ad. It works on many levels.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcYbo7pjto

    References
  • Candihanks. (2001, August 11). Back to School Funny Staples Commercial. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcYbo7pjto
  • TapisMarketing. (2013, August 9). 1992 Pepsi Commercial with Cindy Crawford. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKN77NjWXxg