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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

At the end of Chapter 17-A, I made a joke about that post being brought to you by Smitwitifs, makers of fine calendars. I wish there really were a way to make a little extra change by promoting free enterprise on personal blogs without being assigned random ads over which we have no control.

Chapter 19 should be posted this weekend. In the meantime, allow me to share this brilliant AT&T ad. It's both interesting and indirectly connected to our on-going "Unsettled" story in that, during the time of these chapters, my dad worked for Bell Telephone (which had sprung from a merger between Western Electric and AT&T).

I've always had a fascination with television advertising. Back in the '90s, when my schedule included a journalism class, I deliberately included an advertising unit (so students would never forget the inherent link between journalism and advertising). As ads go, this AT&T spot is a brilliant use of "subtle reinforcement" (which is similar but not quite the same thing as subliminal advertising. If you have never studied the use of subliminal messages in advertising, here is a must see video, and here are some interesting links.) Because the subtle reinforcement in the ad below is so easily pointed out, I don't think it qualifies as subliminal.

When Cingular Wireless merged with AT&T, they continued the "raising the bar" theme with this "more bars" campaign. See how often you notice this stair-step image depicted in objects in each frame of their "Sweet Pea" 30-second spot. I thought it was obvious but my wife and kids had watched the ad many times and never noticed so, hey, maybe it's not so obvious. The answers are below the clip. (Don't peek.)


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The reward of creating such interesting ads is that they get free air time when people take interest in them. I do not use AT&T wireless, and yet here we are talking about their great ad. Here are the "bars" I saw:

First are the palm trees behind the business man’s house; then come the sky-scrapers in the background as he crosses the bridge and opens his briefcase; then there are blue pens in the pocket of the briefcase lid; then there are the stacked papers at a newsstand; then the most subtle of the subte is the rows of windows in the building to the right of the Empire State building (I didn't see that one until three days after this post); then there are five loaves of French bread in the bag during the line “Look, Daddy, sent us a picture.” Then there are five “stair-step” sky-scrapers again; then there are five stair-step images behind the picture of the monkey in the phone itself (that’s a quick image); then there are monkey bars and swing frames along the back of the playground when the little girl sees the second picture. Then there are five vases in the far back window of the inside of the home just before they look at the five palm trees that were at the beginning of the commercial (now in picture form on the computer screen). There are at least ten pictorial representations of the “more bars” logo BEFORE the actual logo appears in orange at the end of the commercial. It’s a brilliant ad with a great song, a family-friendly theme, and subliminal reinforcement throughout the 30 second clip. Watch it again and see if you see all eleven. There may be more!.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Nancy said...

I just love it...who would've thunk it? Not ME! I enjoyed both clips...now you've go me thinkin'...isn't this a lot like your poetry? You sly devil you. Keep 'em comin' said the girl from NC along with- have a great weekend.

13/3/09 7:14 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Nancy,
I never thought of it like that, but you're right, if you know my theology and worldview it's often subtly tucked in the lines of poems (even if they're about other things). It was in teh twenties today but it's supposed to warm up this weekend. We're looking forward to that. My daughter Kim came home from Chicago (I picked her up at the Holland train station last Sunday night.) So our week has been "like old times." =)

13/3/09 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at the glasses when the monkey is sitting in the middle of the table. there are five glasses on each side of it. From our perspective they look smaller to larger. more bars.

17/5/09 1:02 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Anon,
Good catch. I missed that, but you are right. It is deliberate. Amazing!

17/5/09 10:52 PM  
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23/1/10 4:18 PM  

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