If actions speak louder than words, how effective can a TV ad be if its imagery contradicts its sales message?  Don’t think this happens?  Check out this ad FedEx ran during the Super Bowl no less:

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The message: You shouldn’t judge something based on a name; FedEx ground is faster than you think

The imagery and action: You CAN judge things by their name and the only person who doesn’t question that is the only relatable character in the entire ad.

And this sort of thing happens all the time, usually in the name of humor or entertainment, where the ad ends up with imagery and on-screen action that belies the sales message.

But here’s what it looks like when you do it right — when the imagery perfectly aligns and strengthens the sales message:

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The message: Benihana turns an ordinary dinner out into an EVENT

The imagery: Glamourous people flocking to Benihana to be delighted and thrilled and entertained by the kinetic choreography that is a Japanese steak house.

Hey, if you’re going out for a special dinner, why not make it an event?  Now that’s a near-perfect ad with absolutely perfect imagery.



  1. Joe on 03.17.2012

    good post Jeff, sometimes I fall into the trap of trying to be cute with words and the image is neutral, really loses the compounding effect. appreciate the article.

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