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The songs that I sang as a child were never the opening themes of Clifford or Arthur. Instead, I would sing the jingles of the commercials I saw on television: Luna, State Farm, or Empire Today. They were simple, catchy, and easy to remember, advertisements that had caught my attention. I could hardly ignore them.
One day, I was absentmindedly scrolling through my Facebook News Feed, skimming over status posts and profile updates, when an automatically played video suddenly emerged. It was the latest Pantene commercial, featuring Selena Gomez. Expanding the video to full screen, I admired the way Selena whipped her full luscious hair, landing her locks on her shoulders with a natural bounce. My focus was entirely on the format, starting with the white and gold theme, the slow motion, the contrast of Selena’s dark chocolate hair against the milky white background, the intriguing aerial view of Selena on top of a large blow dryer emphasizing the hair’s endurance against strong heat, up to the abstract, kaleidoscope view of the brand name as the finishing touch to the commercial. Although the video was a mere thirty seconds, it still contained an overload of detail. I realized that, despite the limited time or space given, the most concise advertisements can impact their viewers with colors, words, and pictures. It was a form of communication through art. Now, that is a language I understand.
Advertisements are quite persistent on television, magazines, billboards, radio, and the Internet. In short, people may find them annoying. However, I find their persuasive power compelling in the way they ignite desires, causing people to think: I want that. The format in which the advertisement presents itself and how it convinces customers are too eye-catching for me to overlook. So, when people ask me, “Did you watch the SuperBowl?” I could only tell them that I did not, for I have little interest in the actual game. When asked, “Which SuperBowl commercial was your favorite this year?” I easily reply, “Doritos: Middle Seat.”
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