Commercials are not simply conduits for product sales, they are a window into how the advertiser looks upon its customers. They reveal how companies really think about their consumers and how they will ultimately use their products. To illustrate the sometimes wildly different perspectives on advertisers' potential customers, let's analyze a few mobile phone commercials and see what they reveal about the company's attitudes toward the masses.
First up, a typical Apple iPhone commercial:
Apple iPhone, "Backpacker"
How Apple regards its potential customers: customers can use our product to easily find hotels, share your photos with your family, and help you learn a new language.
Next up, a Verizon commercial, trumpeting its 3G coverage:
Verizon "Big Red"
A fractured transcript:
• Browse the web much better (Verizon customer is supposedly posing for a sculpture, but is tapping away on her cell phone, the artist ultimately gets frustrated with her lack of focus, and she doesn't even notice when the sculpture is finished)
• Update Facebook pages better (kids on a camping trip are ignoring their father telling a scary story while playing with a phone)
• Ditch your boring job much better (a bellboy ignores his customers because he's having so much fun tapping on his phone)
• You'll watch YouTube on a horse... (um, yeah, that one is self-explanatory)
• Download stupid stuff much better
How Verizon regards its potential customers: Verizon customers can waste time, ignore their job, tune out from the normal world, be brats on camping trips, and, well, we'll just spell it out for them, "download stupid stuff" with our product.
Microsoft essentially says the same thing in this next ad.
Microsoft, "Meetings are Better with a Windows Phone"
Microsoft: "Want to be a douchebag, jerk-employee who wastes time in conferences on Facebook, and then tries to cover it up with an Excel spreadsheet? You should buy a Microsoft phone!"