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Adverts were introduced to television in the 1950’s as a way to reach many people in their homes. This method of advertisement is increasingly potent today, and is now a multi-million pound industry. Modern firms strive for originality and imagination, to make their products attractive and inviting to buy. It is these innovative procedures that I aim to investigate in this essay. The first of the two adverts that I shall compare is Guinness: Surfer. This depicts a Polynesian surfer who has waited all his life of the ‘big wave’, and manages to tame it.

It is a moving advert appealing to subtle emotions, such as achievement and ambition. In total contrast, the second advert I aim to compare is John Smiths: Diver. This is a light-hearted, humorous and entertaining parody of a diving championship. It aims to become memorable by being funny, rather than emotive. Both of these adverts are hugely successful, but take opposing stances on devices, emotions and substance. I aim to examine the differences between the two, as well as identifying what makes them so enjoyable to watch.

Adverts use unique main characters to make themselves memorable. Both commercials employ this tactic to good effect, creating a personal feel to the advert. Guinness: Surfer is a perfect example of this. The actor used is a Polynesian man, who was found on a beach in Hawaii. He is a little out of shape, giving the idea that he is a completely genuine surfer and not a model or actor. This clever casting allows the person at home to relate to the ordinary man, who is having an extraordinary experience.

This brings personality to the advert, which is vital in making it well known. If a model were used, aspirations and ambitions would not be initiated in the viewer. The creators of John Smiths: Diver employ the same attitude. The actor used is Peter Kay, who is participating in a diving competition. While the other athletes are slim, he is fat. This incongruity brings a humorous angle to the advert, as well allowing the viewer interaction with the character. He appears to be an “everyday man”, which viewers can obviously relate to better than a model or perfectly handsome man.

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