The 12 Kinds of Ads

July 30, 2007


Slate has put together a comprehensive guide to The 12 Kinds of Ads that comprise the gamut of television commercials. It’s a really informative collection of Ads for anyone looking to get a handle on how the media is addressing them.

Start your Monday off fresh and check out The 12 Kinds of Ads so that you can begin to appreciate all those ‘subtle’ cues that have been affecting your shopping habits for the last couple of years.

Here’s a great example of Slate’s analysis:

The 10th format is “associated user imagery”: The advertiser showcases the type of people it hopes you’ll associate with the product. Often these will be hip, funny, or good-looking people. But sometimes the associated users are goofy or geeky—it depends on the target market.

This Nike spot is one of my favorite ads ever. I love its brilliant editing (watch the cuts accelerate), its ass-kicking AC/DC track (I air-drum each time I hear it), and its inspirational vibe (it makes me want to just, I don’t know … do it). It’s also classic associated user imagery. Who wears Nike? Dedicated, hardworking athletes, like Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, that kid practicing soccer, and that gray-haired jogger lady. Those sprinkled shots of everyday people are key to the ad’s genius. In some ads, we just see the star jocks on screen and are expected to make the associative leap on our own. (Hey, I’ll be like Tom Brady if I buy Nike stuff.) This ad helps make the leap for us.

Here’s the ad:

Check out Slate’s in-depth slide show for all the ads!

– chris


One Response to “The 12 Kinds of Ads”

  1. […] 12 Kinds of Ads [Tropist] – Great presentation of the twelve categorizations of ads, with examples for […]

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