Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Natural Law

 

Good Ads“When the Gentiles, who have no knowledge of the Law, act in accordance with it by the light of nature, they show that they have a law in themselves, for they demonstrate the effect of a law operating in their own hearts. Their own consciences endorse the existence of such a law, for there is something which condemns or commends their actions.”
— Romans 2:14-15, J.B. Phillips New Testament

J.B. Phillips wrote a much-read paraphrase of the New Testament in mid-20th Century colloquial English. His paraphrase of this passage seems faithful to the underlying text and makes the point clearly, as a good paraphrase should. We see here the idea of a law encoded in the natural world, the world we all experience, whatever religious teachings we do or do not receive.

A hotel and a car commercial prompted thoughts about humans yearning for something more than fame and fortune, more than material comforts and the false sense of security attached to them. I noticed ads by Marriott and Hyundai on television screens recently, and thought perhaps they marked Madison Avenue responding to polling that showed a desire for an appeal to something positive and higher than our navels. A bit of research did not unearth any obvious white paper or trade paper tips, but these are major players in competitive industries.

A little digging showed that Marriott took this turn in 2017, so it might just be a surge of new ad placements. Hyundai, on further reflection, is taking some cues from the long success of Subaru’s ad campaigns. Poking a bit further, Allstate, in the hyper-competitive car and home insurance business, had a ad in 2013 without a trace of Mayhem:

“People live for good.” So said Allstate. Marriott, in co-branding and promoting four of the properties under their umbrella, proclaims “We live by the #Golden Rule.” A trade website, World Branding Forum, explained Marriott‘s corporate communications concept:

Though distinct in their own identity, the four make up the group’s classic select segment and represent more than a third of the properties in the Marriott 30-brand portfolio. Amidst a challenging travel environment, meanwhile, Four Points, Courtyard, Fairfield, and SpringHill celebrate humanity.

At the heart of the effort is Human, a 60-second spot that portrays the above sentiment as the guiding principle of each of the chain’s hotels both locally and worldwide. The concept draws its relevance from the fact that often, humanity is found to be lacking from today’s hospitality experience.

It was an ad in this line that recently caught my attention:

Oh, yes, I see the “progressive” visual cues here. And… Marriott, even its advertising team, understood that there is some power in appeals to “mankind” being better if “all men were kind.” Even now, at the intersection of the entertainment, hospitality, and business industries, there is some appreciation for the power of “the Golden Rule.”

Hyundai, in the fiercely competitive consumer automobile industry, went with “Better Drives Us” this year, proclaiming:

From safety to the shopping experience and everything in between, making things better for people is at the heart of everything we do. Because better is only better when you put people first.

Now, if you think you’ve seen bits of this commercial previously in a series of Subaru ads, you would be right. The ideas and images are road tested; they work. This commercial does not let you forget they want you to buy one of their cars, and gives you a series of reasons to do so. And. We are back to consideration of others. Buy their SUV because you care for your family.

Of course, Subaru will tell you that “Love is what makes a Subaru“:

And they invite you to “Share the Love.” Of course, they do seem a bit biased about dogs and cats:

What companies catch your eye with messages about basic goodness, not correctness but goodness?


OK, one more just because:

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There are 12 comments.

  1. Saint Augustine Member

    Clifford A. Brown: We see here the idea of a law encoded in the natural world, the world we all experience, whatever religious teachings we do or do not receive. 

    Philosophical connections here.

    Good post, C. A. Brown!

    • #1
    • October 23, 2019, at 2:33 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. OkieSailor Member

    Your post almost makes me want to watch commercials which is something I just never do. Almost.

    • #2
    • October 23, 2019, at 6:15 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I have mixed feelings about these ads. Their obvious intent is to sell their products. And yet I have to admit, I love their messages. Whenever the Subaru commercials come up, I sit up, listen and watch. The last one you posted is one of my favorites–next to the “parents” sending their “baby” off to obedience school.

    So I guess if they broadcast commercials, I’d prefer they send positive and uplifting and cute messages, even if their goals are materialistic.

    • #3
    • October 23, 2019, at 6:20 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Vectorman Thatcher

    Subaru must be doing something right. The original marketplace for their 4-wheel drive cars was in the Rockies (especially Colorado) and New England ski country. Now a relative in flatland Houston has purchased two new Subaru vehicles within that last 5 years.


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    • #4
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:22 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Al French, Count of Clackamas Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Subaru must be doing something right. The original marketplace for their 4-wheel drive cars was in the Rockies (especially Colorado) and New England ski country. Now a relative in flatland Houston has purchased two new Subaru vehicles within that last 5 years.

    I’m led to understand that in Los Angeles they are so popular among a certain population category they are called Lesbarus.

    • #5
    • October 23, 2019, at 9:00 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Paul Erickson Member

    I dislike Subarus (our 2002 Impreza was “meh” and our 2004 Outback was truly disappointing.) But their “love” adds make me want to barf.

     

    • #6
    • October 23, 2019, at 10:51 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    I dislike Subarus (our 2002 Impreza was “meh” and our 2004 Outback was truly disappointing.) But their “love” adds make me want to barf.

     

    Frankly I don’t pay a lot of attention to the message, unless you count loving dogs!

    • #7
    • October 23, 2019, at 1:18 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    I dislike Subarus (our 2002 Impreza was “meh” and our 2004 Outback was truly disappointing.) But their “love” adds make me want to barf.

     

    Frankly I don’t pay a lot of attention to the message, unless you count loving dogs!

    The Love campaign was what moved Subaru out of a marginal market. Carmichael Lynch, the ad agency, tells the story:

    When we began our partnership with Subaru in 2007, the brand was stuck in neutral. Sales were flat. The company had tried one rational approach after another, going through six campaigns and seven agencies in as many years. We discovered the reason people came to the brand wasn’t rational at all. It was all about love. Subaru drivers loved life. They loved the outdoors. They loved pets. They especially loved the venerable old Subaru they’d been driving forever. The Love campaign was born. In the years since, sales and market share have more than tripled. Love has spread to every level of the brand.

    So, you get family. 

    You get dogs.

    You get ads including family and dogs over a decade or more (the vehicle lasts).

    And, you get the hard core safety pitch: They Lived.

    This last pitch is amazingly true, almost unbelievable. They really do build the passenger compartment to resist compromise in virtually any crash. 

    I have a friend who rolled his GTi, very souped up, on the highway. It ended up on its roof and the entire engine compartment was collapsed–but not into the passenger compartment.

    He freed himself from his 3-point safety harness, crawled out, and was standing on the shoulder of the interstate when the state patrol showed up.

    • #8
    • October 23, 2019, at 5:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    I dislike Subarus (our 2002 Impreza was “meh” and our 2004 Outback was truly disappointing.) But their “love” adds make me want to barf.

     

    Bah, humbug.

    • #9
    • October 23, 2019, at 5:04 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Paul Erickson Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    I dislike Subarus (our 2002 Impreza was “meh” and our 2004 Outback was truly disappointing.) But their “love” adds make me want to barf.

     

    Frankly I don’t pay a lot of attention to the message, unless you count loving dogs!

    The Love campaign was what moved Subaru out of a marginal market. Carmichael Lynch, the ad agency, tells the story:

    When we began our partnership with Subaru in 2007, the brand was stuck in neutral. Sales were flat. The company had tried one rational approach after another, going through six campaigns and seven agencies in as many years. We discovered the reason people came to the brand wasn’t rational at all. It was all about love. Subaru drivers loved life. They loved the outdoors. They loved pets. They especially loved the venerable old Subaru they’d been driving forever. The Love campaign was born. In the years since, sales and market share have more than tripled. Love has spread to every level of the brand.

    So, you get family.

    You get dogs.

    You get ads including family and dogs over a decade or more (the vehicle lasts).

    And, you get the hard core safety pitch: They Lived.

    This last pitch is amazingly true, almost unbelievable. They really do build the passenger compartment to resist compromise in virtually any crash.

    I have a friend who rolled his GTi, very souped up, on the highway. It ended up on its roof and the entire engine compartment was collapsed–but not into the passenger compartment.

    He freed himself from his 3-point safety harness, crawled out, and was standing on the shoulder of the interstate when the state patrol showed up.

    My wife’s sister had a nasty encounter with a semi in eastern PA in her Legacy a couple years ago. Car totalled, she had not a scratch. But . . . my experience driving and repairing the two we owned has turned me sour on the brand. I’ll take any Honda, any day, over any Subaru.

     

    • #10
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:46 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. MarciN Member

    This heartwarming post deserves one last heartwarming picture. My daughter’s rescue dog on their way home the first day from the dog shelter (in my daughter’s Toyota RAV4): 

     

     

    • #11
    • October 24, 2019, at 10:58 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    People who are TV show Shark Tank devotees have known this now faddish appeal to something beyond one’s more selfish desires is in full swing in the American culture.

    I hope that is a good thing, and not just a fad.

    I once sat in a library in Denver reading back issues of Look and Life magazine. Among other conclusions: the increasing numbers of mass murders in Europe and Great Britain committed by “the guy down the street” seemed to foretell the coming of WWII.

    I also noticed that in the 1920’s and 30’s, ads were mostly about appealing to the household head’s desire to provide for the family. Radio ads showed a happy family sitting near the fireplace all beaming at one another and listening intently to the radio. Car ads and other appliance items were advertised in the same way.

    By the mid 1960’s, it was more about sex and glamor. A “babe” was often posed against the hood of the car. Hair gels and toothpaste ads informed us that only Brand X or Y would get our hair or shiny teeth enhanced enough to attract members of the opposite sex.

    It might be nice to have commercials pulled in the direction of us humans thinking about each other, in a human way, and not just about the need to get laid. (Or it could be just a fad.)

    • #12
    • October 25, 2019, at 11:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes