The idea of this project is really cool; it’s always fun to mentally imagine how certain things would be different in a movie or a book or any form of fiction. However, thinking how a commercial can be different is a different situation.
The thing that’s interesting is the fact that about 95% of commercials on evening television are Pathos driven. Is it because of our culture? Is it because we don’t care? Is it because deep down we like the idea of flashing images of girls in bikinis while being serenaded by the smooth musical styling of Motley Crue is a great way to sell a car?
Lets face it, commercials are getting increasingly mindless for the sake of cutting costs. What’s cheaper? A payed sponsor talking about Insurance or a bunch of pyrotechnics and a talking lizard? The former, of course, but in the end people are more likely to remember the latter. For example, take into account how popular the Geico Cavemen commercials were about ten years ago. It was to the point where Geico separated the image of the cavemen from their commercials and started a sitcom based off of the run-on gag that the phrase “It’s so easy, a caveman can do it” is actually a racially intolerant statement since, obviously, Cavemen own nice apartments, dress in suits, and drink fancy drinks.
This being said, it’s easier for one to take a Pathos driven commercial and make it into a Logos or Ethos based one. However, I want to try to do the opposite; I want to find a completely legitimate and informative commercial and make it into a Pathos driven commercial. I have two ideas in mind for this.
The first idea being the old Apple computer commercials with Jeff Goldblum bantering about how cool they are. The commercials are full of information and, to top it off, are narrated by Jeff Goldblum; one of the dorkiest actors in recent history.
If this was pathos driven, I could see it interlaced with explosions (a’la Independence Day) and/or dinosaurs (a’la Jurassic Park) whilst Jeff Goldblum serves as a sort-of hero using the Apple computers to stop this absurdly cartoonish violence. Giving the consumer the impression that computers can (and will) defeat dinosaurs. A concept that, though sounding absurd, isn’t out of the realm of advertisement possibilities.
The other commercial I was thinking about was one of the age-old classic “Hoveround” commercials
Everyone has seen them; old people shown rolling around in pure ecstasy because the idea (present by the commercial) of a electronic wheelchair has given them a second shot at living their lives (side-note: it’s not like electronic wheelchairs are a NEW thing or anything, so these commercials are ironically re-inventing the wheel in the first place). The commercials tastelessly exploit older people and show them off as being either completely hopeless in the mobility department, but also living in a world of weird ultimatums where the idea that “if you can’t walk that means you will lose your house AND your family” are actually common place and the only solution is a Hoveround.
They try to make this up by showing some older people doing synchronized hover-driving, making birdhouses, and visiting the Grand Canyon. Despite this, the commercial still hilariously presents these people as being terrifyingly aged in an almost caricature fashion; some of the old ladies scream at the camera while the old men sit around and watch baseball or something.
The commercials are laced deeply with factual information and statistics to the point where it seems like a miniature infomercial as opposed to an commercial. If this was a pathos driven commercial, I could see the soundtrack being replaced with a silly song about rolling around (Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit is a possibility) and just filled with images of people in Hoverounds doing awesome things.
Who needs facts anyway when you have loud music, crazy sequences, and star power?