People are exposed to hundreds of advertisements a day. Much thought goes into making even the most subtle advertisements because in order to be successful, they must appeal to the human brain. The successful advertisements usually appeal in an emotional, logical, or ethical way. The following will describe an in depth analysis of Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” commercial that aired during the 2015 Super Bowl. The description will include why the advertisement is effective in persuasion because of the story-like plot, the emotions it raises, and the targeted audience.
Every single day I, along with people all over the world, am exposed to thousands of advertisements. These advertisements may come in the form of pictures, jingles, or videos, and often flash through my mind long after I have seen them. Much thought goes into making even the most subtle advertisements because in order to be successful, they must appeal to the human brain. The successful advertisements usually appeal in an emotional, logical, or ethical way. The ultimate goal is to make an impression and cause users to buy. A famous time for airing new commercials is during the Super Bowl. Many people, myself included, look forward to the event because of the incredible amount of new, good commercials. An advertisement I found worthy of analyzing is from the 2015 Super Bowl. The “Lost Dog” commercial for Budweiser is an advertisement effective in persuasion because of the story-like plot, the emotions it raises, and the targeted audience.
In my opinion, a good advertisement tells a good story. A story leads to deeper connections and feelings, and it is even more impressive when it is told in a thirty to sixty second commercial. The Budweiser commercial focuses on a man, his puppy, his horses, and the love shared between them all. The plot unfolds with a yellow lab pup getting lost, and then finding his way back home while the tear jerking song, “I’m Gonna Be,” plays in the background. During the time that the pup is missing, the heartbroken owner distributes “Lost Dog” signs around town. When the puppy finally makes it and can see his home from a short distance, a nasty coyote appears and all hope fades away. However, when the puppy barks and whimpers, the horses hear the cries for help and break free from their stable. The horses charge the hill, come to the puppy’s rescue, and scare away the coyote. The puppy then leads the horses back to the farm and is reunited with his loving owner. The love from the last image feels extremely real as the horse and puppy sit with their beloved owner, who holds a Budweiser beer. The commercial fades out with the Budweiser logo and hash tag “Best Buds.” Even though the commercial was only one minute long, an entire plot was able to unfold and a story was told. I was able to take something away from the advertisement, which makes it stand out and ultimately more effective. I felt an explosion of emotions and empathy, and now every time I see Budweiser, I am going to think of the story of the puppy.
Effective advertisements are able to touch people on an emotional and deeper level. Human nature causes people to react to a sad or loving story, which is why the Budweiser commercial hits home with so many people. The very first image is of an adorable yellow lab puppy, which melts the hearts of the watchers. When the puppy gets lost, an overwhelming sadness is felt. The song alone is enough to jerk some tears. As the puppy’s journey continues and almost makes it home, watchers are rooting for the happy ending that is about to come. Watchers want the puppy to make it home and be reunited with his family because that is what is right. When the horses save the puppy from the wolf, it really portrays the idea of great friendship and success in numbers. The audience is able to feel the love and connection between the horses and the puppy. The commercial puts watchers through an emotional roller coaster of love, sadness, fright, relieve, and happiness. I think the commercial is also trying to relate to patriotism and is going for the classic American idea at the end with a farmer drinking a casual beer and bonding with man’s best friend. What could be more American than farming, a yellow lab, and beer? Budweiser is subconsciously telling users that Budweiser has a heart for animals, America, and happy endings.
The target audience might be one of the most important aspects when creating a successful advertisement. In order to be effective, the advertisement must be shown at a time and place that it will be most seen, and also must be relatable for potential users of the product. Budweiser achieves each of these goals with the “Lost Dog” commercial. Firstly, Budweiser picked the perfect time and place for the airing of their commercial based on their target audience. Many football fans are beer drinkers, so it makes perfect sense to show a beer commercial during a football game. Budweiser expanded their viewing pool even further by playing their “Lost Dog” commercial during the biggest and most watched football game of the year; the Super Bowl. The commercial aired near the beginning of the game, so it was one of the very first seen. Because the commercial is about an adorable puppy, it is extremely relatable for all people. Even non beer drinkers are touched by the determination of the puppy to get home to his beloved owner and horse best friend. If I had never heard of Budweiser, I would think that it was a company full of good, animal loving people after seeing the commercial.
Obviously Budweiser did a knockout job in creating a successful and persuasive advertisement. The “Lost Dog” commercial was seen by millions of 2015 Super Bowl watchers. Budweiser appeals to its audience through storytelling and emotion, making it an effective advertisement.
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