Analyzing an Ameritrade commerical

Hello, I’m back once again and going to give this analyzing a commercial thing another try. I haven’t seen much for commercials online that have really blown my socks off, but I came across this little thing and I felt that it was amusing enough to do an analysis of. You can see the commercial for yourself up above, so I’ll go ahead and dive right into what I thought they did well, and what they didn’t do quite so well.

The first thing that they did well was it was funny…to an extent. I’ll admit after watching it six or seven times the joke isn’t as good as it was the first time I watched it. The concept of having a psychic helping you with your financial decisions is pretty brilliant, but this guy must not have been too bright if he thought that this woman would be able to tell him weather it was raining outside or not… when she’s standing outside. She can’t predict anything he’s going to say to her, but that doesn’t stop her from trying. I’m pretty sure you could say that this was a metaphor that Ameritrade was trying to make, saying that all stock brokers are doing is guessing at what’s going to do well. They’re stock brokers as well, but they claim they’ll give you your money back if they don’t do it well. I also found it amusing when the woman ran off with the computer at the end and knocked his pens on his desk. I’m still not entirely sure if that was supposed to distract him from noticing what she was doing, or was her reaction to being fired.

Another thing that they did both well and badly, is showing the name of the company. I’ll get into how they did that badly later. They showed the name of the company on the computer screen and at the end, which gives you multiple opportunities to see who the company is. This is an important thing for a commercial to do, because if you don’t let people know who it is they are supposed to go and buy product x from, you just wasted a lot of money and upset some people about how their show was interrupted for no reason.

The last thing I noticed that I felt that they did well was they mentioned the benefits of the product. It’s a practically risk free financial advisory service. If you make wise decisions based off of what they are telling you, you should see a return on your investment. If you don’t, then that was their mistake for giving you bad advice and they will return your money. It’s almost enough to make me want to go out and invest with them, so the benefit must be pretty good if it can do that to someone who (at this time) has no interest in investing money.

Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately depending on how you look at it, this ad did quite a few things wrong. It’s bad for them, but fortunate for us because it gives us an opportunity to learn what to avoid when we’re making ads of our own. The first mistake I’d say they made was there wasn’t anything to really catch my attention in the beginning of the ad. The place I see most ads now is on youtube, and if something hasn’t happened in the first five seconds to get me interested, I’m hitting the skip button to get back to my video. This commercial was lucky that I was distracted by something else and didn’t get to the skip button before it had my attention. In a world where we want to be entertained more than informed, at least if you are taking us away from our entertainment, you absolutely must do something to get us interested in those first five seconds. With DVRs these days, most commercials don’t even get that. That is part of the reason why I believe we need to get rid of television commercials and go back to sponsored TV shows, but that’s a topic for a different blog post.

This commercial really confused me because the name of the website on the screen was Ameritrade, and the name of the company at the end was Ameritrade, but the man in the commercial kept calling it Amerivest? If you have multiple names for your company, and you are going to use both of them in a commercial, it’s a good idea to explain how they are the same thing.

The contact information wasn’t on the screen long enough for me to be able to copy it down or commit it to memory, I understand that this is an ad on Youtube, so if I was really interested I could pause the video, or my DVR if it was on TV, but I still believe that you should show the name of your company or product you want others to buy if you want them to know or care about it.

This is one thing that really bugs me about these kind of commercials, and I almost didn’t catch it. After watching the commercial for the sixth time, I noticed a bunch of tiny print at about chest height on the screen. I wasn’t able to read it, but I’m pretty sure it was that legal mumbo jumbo that these type of businesses like to put on saying something about how if you don’t use their product exactly the way you are told to, or if you don’t contact them within a certain number of days you don’t get your refund. They can say, well, it was in the commercial that you had to start your investing with us by three o’clock on Wednesday, but you didn’t start until 3:02, so your claim is invalid and therefore we don’t owe you anything. Sorry, but it’s not our fault you didn’t take the time to read the really tiny words.

The last thing they did wrong was they didn’t give a call to action. A call to action is something that every advertisement should have. We have just given you a bunch of information about our product and this is what we want you to do with this new information. They told you about the product. They told us about the benefits of using the product, but they didn’t tell us that we should use the product. Advertisements get a much better response if you give a call to action with it.

That was my opinion on this commercial, I’m hoping you will leave yours below and that we can all learn more about how to advertise better. Maybe if we all try, someday when the commercial come on, we’ll all pay more attention like we used to for the Super Bowl commercials. Have a great day everyone, and if you are looking for a good story, check out my blog because I have four stories I’m posting regularly on.


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