Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New TV commercial – and imagery

It’s just not possible for me to stay away from TV commercials for very long, and I saw the TV commercial above for the first time tonight. The ad itself is about a particular aspect of life in New Zealand, but it was the imagery—one segment in particular—that caught my attention.

The ad is talking about people having one power account for both their home and their bach (pronounced “batch”), which is a holiday (vacation) home. Baches have been a traditional part of New Zealand life, and they’re generally not particularly grand. They’re also handed down within families.

The deal they’re getting at is that company doesn’t charge a daily charge as a separate power account would, but, instead, they charge only for power actually used. That, they say, is “fairness”.

So, the ad uses all sorts of images relating to fairness and fair play—including the rainbow flag, which isn’t actually discussed, but appears right after the announcer says “fairness”. It’s not often that the flag is used in mainstream advertising, nor is it used as a symbol to reinforce ideas of fairness, as this usage does.

To be honest, I’m not sure how helpful using the rainbow flag is because it’s divorced from its actual context. However, even casual reinforcement of the image, especially when tied to the word “fairness”, is good, even though it’s being done to sell the services of an electricity company. I’m always a pragmatist. So, on balance, I think this is okay—and I even forgive them flying the flag upside down.

Of course, it’s not unusual for New Zealand advertisers to include actual same-gender couples in their campaigns, as I talked about earlier this month. It’s a little unusual for a commercial to have LGBT+ imagery that has no particular context, or, probably, actual relevance to what’s being advertised. Since the rainbow flag in this ad reinforces ideas of fairness, I’m okay with it.

But next time they really should fly the flag right side up.

The 15 second version:


rogerogreen said...

My goodness - 42 posts in 29 days. Assuming you write no more posts in August you can hit par with slightly less than 1.5 posts per day. I do believe this obsession with YOUR output is a sickness...

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Heh. Well, someone has to pay attention to it…