Loss of Storytelling in Advertising

Posted by: Megan Stein

The holidays are approaching. That means shopping, sales and the horrors of the mall parking lot. When it comes to holiday gifts, everyone wants to save a quick buck. People will go to lengths to head to the mall on the worst days to get the best sales on big ticket items (can we say black Friday?). The advertising industry profits from this. Advertising a sale has become so easy, however, that the story behind the product has gone astray.

Most companies’ advertising for the winter season simply highlights their biggest sales. There are rarely taglines, characters or entertainment of any kind. Without a story, advertising does nothing but embrace the criticism that it encourages capitalism and lowers the importance of the holidays. Creating a mini-movie within commercials or making someone smile when they see a print ad in a magazine in regards to the holidays has disappeared.

An article on Mashable highlights a particular company that decided to take their holiday ads to the next level. Ralph Lauren has created ecards that use their models to spell out holiday greetings of a user’s choice. When the person receives the card, they can click on the models to see what article of clothing the model is wearing and the price. Even though the ecards are promoting Ralph Lauren and asking people to buy their product for a holiday gift, they are still creating an interactive platform for target audience’s to become involved in.

Photo provided by ArmyPty14 via YouTube

Target is another company that has incorporated stories into their ads. Overall, Target has ads that are interesting and use good combinations of music and images to reach their target audience. Their holiday commercials, which use the crazed woman searching frantically for the best Target sale, catch people’s eyes, make them laugh and reminding them why they shop at Target. This is the kind of ad that gets people excited for the holidays but is also creative and fun.

The advertising industry has often dealt with heavy criticism. With the decrease in creativity, it is making it more difficult for journalists to support the advertising world and lowers the standard for quality ads. Storytelling is one of the most important aspects to creating a good ad and it is important to follow that through no matter what the product is that ads are trying to sell.

What companies can you think of that have been less than impressive this holiday season? Do you think by simple advertising the sale with no creativity diminishes the importance or quality of the advertising industry?

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