Obnoxious, yet effective commercials- Allstate & Kotex

I think we can all agree that commercials are a form of public address.  Here are two commercials that have recently gained a lot of popularity simply because they are obnoxious! The first commercial is a Kotex tampon commercial and it really gets your attention because it is filled with over the top assumptions and it plays off a conceited personality. The commercial doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with tampons, the product it is advertising. However it still makes sense. It is primarily focused on the female audience, however it is attention grabbing so perhaps even some men would be caught off guard and actually find the commercial entertaining. What do you all think, is it catchy or just plain stupid?

In addition, both the Kotex and Allstate commercials are primarily based off of satire. The Allstate commercials are quick and short (power brief- Humes) and depict random instances of automobile damage. “Mayhem” could take place wherever, so you have to be prepared with Allstate auto insurance to have your back if “Mayhem” strikes. This is an example of rhetoric, as defined by Plato- a particular kind of persuasive communication that aims at influencing human belief and behavior. I think we can all understand the importance of auto insurance and how unexpected events really do occur. This helps build Allstate’s ethos, we know the importance of what they are convincing us to purchase and we know Allstate has a good record for providing it. Pathos is also illustrated because the public can easily relate to how frustrating any car trouble could be, and knowing that Allstate is on your side will only make the process easier. Lastly, logos, is illustrated however not as blatantly as the other two. I think the commercials are oximoronic and thus present logos through that (what do you think, is it more obvious?).

Overall, I think these commercials demonstrate that it isn’t necessarily important to follow convention for effectiveness in persuasion. Being catchy and doing things that grab attention could be very beneficial to gaining popularity. One last thing as well, I think these two examples are also really good examples of Humes’ Power Wit with a little bit of over exaggeration as well.

– Catherine Jakubowski

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6 comments so far

  1. kws221 on

    Regarding the Kotex commercial, I thought that it was catchy, especially compared to most tampon commercials that are aired on TV. I liked that fact that it was over-the-top and unrelated to the product itself. This commercial is a prime example of the power rhetoric has to influence people. Also, it didn’t hurt that the woman in this commercial is attractive.
    As far as the All-State commercials go, I think that they are pretty entertaining and definitely do demonstrate logos in a backhanded way. I find it extremely refreshing to see the creativity behind many commercials these days. Commercial-making companies truly understand that to sell a product doesn’t necessarily mean talking about that product whatsoever. You just have to connect it with some emotion, logic, or credibility to elicit a popular response, and the product will be sold. – Kevin Schneider

  2. Erika Berg on

    Both of these commercials were a refreshing change to the typical tampon and insurance commercials normally aired. Obviously why Kotex chose the slogan, “Break the cycle.” Although I am not an expert on public relations and advertising, I am using my common sense to say that the biggest obstacle in advertising is capturing the audience. Kotex and Allstate definitely use oxymoron-like logic to capture the audience by being different than competing companies. By providing a different, seemingly better, attention getter they are able to grab on to the audience and keep them for longer. They appeal to a wide variety and make the audience feel more in control of what they are watching, rather than being preached to by yet another advertisement. I agree with Catherine that they use Humes’ power wit, although it is appropriate in these advertising situations. However, if more companies grab on to this tactic the “new” style will no longer “break the cycle.”

    Erika Berg

  3. dupublicaddress on

    I definitely agree that the Kotex commercial was refreshing. It was honest and almost makes the audience feel ashamed for being so easily lured by other advertisements simply because they use catchy slogans or attractive models. While the All-State commercial may be humorous and catchy, I’m not so sure it is effectively using pathos…do you really want buying automobile insurance to be funny? Though they talk about “mayhem” it’s more of a joke, which may cause the audience to perceive All State’s insurance plan as superfluous, as the sort of mayhem shown in the commercial would likely never occur.

    Ali Sehringer

  4. pipkin6320 on

    All State gains the attention of the audience by simply personifying mayhem. They make him ridiculous for humor: an angry, jealous teenage girl or a distracting jogger. People know that mayhem can happen anywhere and anytime, but I believe by making this non-physical property (mayhem) a person makes it that much more real to people. I agree that businesses know that they can no longer just sell their product straight up. In this day and age a business has to be creative about selling their product and be more persuasive to get the audience’s attention to even consider the product.

  5. pipkin6320 on

    All State gains the attention of the audience by simply personifying mayhem. They make him ridiculous for humor: an angry, jealous teenage girl or a distracting jogger. People know that mayhem can happen anywhere and anytime, but I believe by making this non-physical property (mayhem) a person makes it that much more real to people. I agree that businesses know that they can no longer just sell their product straight up. In this day and age a business has to be creative about selling their product and be more persuasive to get the audience’s attention to even consider the product.
    Lauren Pipkin

  6. ehoward112 on

    I really liked the kotex commercial. Simply because it addresses a lot of the things that companies use to get people to buy a product. If you mute the audio it looks like 15 billion other commercials that we have seen that are selling us something.
    I also really like the Allstate commercials because it make the viewer think if they are covered for these things. Most of the instances shown in the commercial are things that happen in real life, though they would seem to be less often than a standard car crash. The slogan is also interesting, in that it almost seems like a threat “Mayham is coming” the ‘to get you’ is implied. Things happen and Allstate wants you to be prepared for everything.


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