Acting vs Announcing

December 7, 2014

You Better Buy NOW!

The quality of acting in television commercials seems to have deteriorated to the point where copy is just announced.  Maybe we have forgotten why good acting makes a difference.

When an announcer tells you “Try the new XRB20, it’s great!  Buy it now!” – you get the message.  But you understand that this is a message from an advertiser and you also understand that the announcer was paid to tell you this.  That makes the message suspect for you.

In contrast, when you overhear two people speaking at a restaurant in a commercial, and one says to the other “You should try the new XRB20.  I got one and it’s great!” you understand the same message.  But the context adds considerable credibility to the comment.  It is much more believable.  You believe that the recommendation is coming from experience without any motivation or self interest in it.

The second case is less aggressive from the advertisers point of view, but it is much more motivating, more credible and more likely to be acted upon.

And that’s exactly what a good slice of life commercial is all about.  If it is acted well so the characters are believable, we believe we are overhearing a real event where the product is the preferred solution for the problem others are having.  The more believable and realistic the situation, the more motivating the information will be.

It is like when you really do hear a friend tell you about a product or you overhear people endorsing a product or service or restaurant.

Sure we know on one level that the conversation is a commercial and not real, but on another level, people feel the folks they see on TV are people they know.  Look at how much people care about actors and celebrities that they only know through their TV windows on the world.

If we overhear something, if we think we are getting “inside information” – all the better.  Because the information is coming to us without the bias of self interest.

And that’s why the quality of acting in commercials is critically important.  And why what might seem to be low powered persuasion can actually be much more high powered that the screaming announcer telling us to “Buy it NOW!”

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