Mercedes-Benz ‘Invisible Car’ (New Technology)

This advertisement introduces Mercedes-Benz’s hydrogen fuel cell technology that boasts zero-emission. In order to highlight that this green technology makes their car completely harmless and ‘invisible’ to the environment, Mercedes-Benz executes a promotional stunt where it brilliantly tries to make the car literally invisible. Let’s take a look at the two techniques that make this advertisement engaging and compelling.

Frame Size

First, the viewers witness the moment where the car so perfectly blends in and disappears into the background. In these two shorts scenes complemented by great CGI, one in the forest and one in the urban area, the camera purposely keeps the distance from the car to maintain its frame size in order to accurately deliver the ad’s message. This frame size successfully provides sufficient information about the unifying relationship between the car and its surrounding environment. It creatively encapsulates for the viewers the significance of this environmentally friendly and innovative new technology.

Reverse Kuleshov Effect

Secondly, probably the most powerful part of the advertisement is the people’s faces. The way the invisible car works makes the ad amazing enough, but the real magic is the reverse Kuleshov effect employed here. The camera goes back and forth a few times from the invisible car in action to the faces of the people looking at it for the first time. Here, we notice that the people not only have found something interesting, but also have almost frozen in the street with faces of mixed feelings: amusement, bewilderment, and awe. These faces give the viewers the perfect sense of how startling it would be to actually witness the invisible car in operation themselves. The facial expressions effectively help shape the viewer’s reaction to and perception of the invisible car and the new technology.


Google Nexus 7 Ad: New Technology


The ad above is an advertisement of Google’s new tablet, Nexus 7. In short, this ad features a father and a young son on a camping trip where they use Nexus 7 as an encyclopedia, a flashlight in the dark, a compass to find the way, to play chess on a rainy day and to read a book at bedtime. This ad stands out because Google cleverly demonstrates their new tablet’s extreme versatility and emotional appeal without the excessive, literal narration of the tablet’s features.

The wide variety of frame sizes and fast cuts between the scenes not only add to the excitement and the sentimental aspect of the ad but also successfully highlight the product utility of the tablet. While in some scenes camerawork and the fast cuts are used to emphasize the adventurous and emotional feel to the father-son camping experience, in other scenes, close-ups and slower fast cuts are used to emphasize the versatile uses of the tablet.

Associational montage is also used throughout the ad – the juxtaposition and the incorporation between this camping trip and Nexus 7 – encourage the viewers to make the connection between enjoyable family experience and technology. The last scene heightens such emotional appeal when the ad reveals that father-son were camping just outside their house – all the adventures and good family time were on the tips of their fingers on Nexus 7, not far away from their home. “The playground is open” – the tablet promises as the ad touches on our heartstrings.



Motorola Xoom Tablet- “Empower the People” (New Technology)

Motorola’s 2011 commercial, “Empower the People,” for its Xoom tablet draws heavy inspiration form Apple’s quintessential 1984 ad. In Motorola’s ad, a single male Xoom user roams through a lifeless environment inhabited with possibly thousands of people clothed in the same white monochrome, lackluster attire. At one point, the user can even be seen flipping through the book 1984 on his tablet to further illustrate the parallel, in case the resemblance is not inherently obvious. All but the Xoom user walk along to their perspective locations with blank expressions. At about six seconds into the ad, a wide-eyed male stares blankly at the Xoom user seemingly mumbling as if he was being brainwashed. The background music in the ad is relatively soft instrumental music and becomes quieter when the male Xoom user enters an elevator with an expressionless girl; his love interest. It later heightens when he’s in the same office building with her and sends her virtual flowers on the Xoom. This audio-video synchronization helps to strengthen the narrative of the ad and distinguishes Motorola’s version from Apple’s, as well as helping to maintain anticipation of what is to come next and keeping viewers interested. Like Apple’s 1984 ad, this Motorola spot is effectively creating associational montage through its suggestion that in a world full of similar people, a product can distinguish individuality. However, by incorporating the same theme as its predecessor, Motorola’s ad not only takes a shot at the Apple corporation, but also a shot at Apple’s individualist identity it created successfully nearly three decades prior. This engages viewers by making them consider their own individualism and the loss of individualism due to the increasing number of Apple consumers.




Google Chrome Speed Tests

This is a clever ad for Google Chrome Internet browser, targeted at a non-technical audience, meant to convey how fast it is, by comparing it to benchmarks people already consider very fast. In this short 2-minute ad, there are several noticeable visual techniques to make the ad more attention grabbing, including editing speed, and audio/visual synchronization

Most noticeable from the very beginning are the very quick cuts, giving us a preview of what we are actually about to see in the ad. Between the 6-second mark and the 14-second mark they make close to 12 cuts! I found this to be a very effective technique, especially for a YouTube ad. By showing all these clips in rapid succession, even if the viewer chooses to skip the ad, he/she is left with the association between Google Chrome and speed. At the very least though, it serves as a way to quickly capture the attention of a younger audience, presumably their target. Throughout the rest of the ad, they sprinkle in random slow motion shots to really emphasize the fact that Google Chrome is winning these races. We get to see some really good slow motion shots that I find very effective.

A more subtle technique this ad employs is the audio/visual synchronization.  The only audio we have for the entire ad are the diegetic sounds of electricity striking a toy ship, buttons being pressed, etc. I like the choice to leave music out of this particular ad, because in some way it adds to the effect of making it seem like a genuine scientific experiment. The sounds we do hear are very sharp and clear, further reinforcing the idea of quickness in the advertisement.


Advertising- New Technology: T-Mobile Ad


Created by T-Mobile, this ad serves to communicate to viewers the speed and extensive coverage offered by T-Mobile’s 4G network. Besides the catchy rhyme, the ad utilizes a few visual techniques that help make it more effective.

The visuals and audio are fairly in sync, with the video cutting to different shots to the rhythm of the woman’s rhyme. During the parts of the commercial where the woman is not speaking, the shots change faster than the rhythm that was established by the rhyme. This variation in speed editing attracts attention and helps to reinforce the message of the ad. The synced visuals and audio establish a neat pattern that viewers find attracting so they keep watching. The disruptions in this pattern where the shots are edited together quicker convey the idea of speed, which helps reinforce the message that T-Mobile’s 4G network is fast.

The variation in camera angle, the cuts from long shots to close-ups, help convey information and attract viewers’ attention. The commercial consists mostly of long shots, where the viewer sees the motorcyclist riding against various rural and urban backgrounds. These long shots help convey distance; they provide info on where the motorcyclist is, implying that T-Mobile also covers it. Additionally, the video cuts to close-ups three times. These shots become increasingly close up, with the final close-up showing only the woman’s lips. The close-ups are personal and intimate; they convey a sense of sexuality not normally associated with a 4G network. The close-ups are also few and far between and flow with the rhyme. The video builds viewers’ anticipation for the next close-up of the woman and then satisfies their desire with a closer, more intimate shot each time, culminating in a very sexualized close-up of her mouth. The close-ups mixed in with the long shots help pique the viewers’ interest and maintain their attention.

Galaxy Nexus: Face Unlock — New Technology Ad

In this 2011 commercial for the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Google tells a simple story revolving around one feature of the phone — Face Unlock. The choice of horizontal angles as well as the video-audio sync help make this 30-second gem engaging and delightful for the viewer. As the son tries to unlock the phone, the camera switches back and forth between the perspective of the child and the perspective of the phone. These angles give the sense that the two are having a conversation, a notion confirmed as the phone responds "Sorry, don't recognize you." By placing the viewer in the perspective of the phone, we humanize it, and the result is that we associate a positive emotions with the device.

Additionally, the story comes together due to the way the video is deliberately edited to sync with the beats of the tune. The music seems to be characterizing the boy as curious yet slightly mischievous, so it is fitting that the beats are synced with the boys movements and his conversation with the phone. At 0:15, for example, the music is perfectly in line with phone's response to the boy. Then, each beat is synced with the boy transferring the phone from left hand to right, then from right to his dad's left. The way the video and audio are edited together can only be accomplished through the precision of digital editing, and this editing makes the ad more satisfying and memorable.



Banned Xbox Commercial

This ad for Microsoft’s Xbox was banned due to its violence. The ad shows hundreds of people in a train station battling each other with imaginary weapons. Multiple techniques such as eye line matching, frame size, fast editing, and video and audio synchronization enhance the impact and effectiveness of the ad. It uses eye line matching to create the initial tension between the two men in the first few shots. The camera establishes that the men are staring at each other. Once they hold up their guns, the camera cuts from the initial medium and medium close ups to longer shots showing the other people in the train station joining in on the standoff.
The ad has roughly 34 different shots. Although the beginning of the scene starts out relatively slowly, as soon as the battle erupts, the editing is so fast, that I lost track of how many shots were actually being strung together. This speed makes the ad engaging and exciting. The line between advertisement and action film becomes blurred.
The video and audio synchronization also helps to emphasize the pace and adds to the feeling of adventure and frenzy. The beginning of the ad utilizes diegetic sounds, such as the announcement over the speakers, and the train screeching; when the standoff begins, the only sounds are people knocking various things over and raising their hands up. Just as the tension rises to its climax, the battle begins, and the song, “Hold That Tiger” starts playing. The shots are then synchronized to the beat this non-diegetic soundtrack. The upbeat song emphasizes the quickened pace of the shots and adds a more lighthearted feel to a once seemingly serious scene.
The cleverness in this ad is that it takes a realistic environment with hundreds of people, and transforms it into this pretend battleground, while playing fun upbeat music in the background. It is meant to show how playing Xbox can immerse a player into a world of imagination and fun. However I understand why it was banned; showing real people shooting at each other, regardless if the weapons are real or not, promotes violence. The tag line “Jump in,” then invites viewers to take part in this violence. I think that the ad was successful, but understandably disapproved.


Google Wallet Commercial

Google Wallet  

Google’s one and half minute advertisement for Google Wallet is simple and effective.  First of all, the video concisely demonstrates how the product works in user-friendly manner.  The commercial keeps the viewer engaged by using one of the tactics of photographic advertising.  This advertisement alters a wallet into unusual shapes, yet it is clear to the viewer that the image is still within a wallet. The wallet transforms into a taxi, an overflow of gummy bears and an ocean.  This unusual imagery captures and attracts the viewer.  Moreover, the viewer acknowledges that the images are digitally manipulated and many do not exist; however, the images are still accepted and credible. Now that the viewer is engaged, the use of between scene editing is extremely effective.  A fade, for instance, was successfully placed in order to transition between the scene of the coffee shop and the scene of the taxi.  The fade is a reminder that the transactions take place at a different time but at the same place—Google Wallet.  The fade reaffirms the idea that at any time all a person needs is Google Wallet.  Furthermore, the Google Wallet advertisement displays propositional montage contrast as it juxtaposes life without Google Wallet and life with Google Wallet.  This contrast proves to the viewers that life is much easier and much less complicated if they start using Google Wallet.  Carrying multiple credit cards, a tangible wallet and a phone are not necessary.  These three essential characteristics of the Google Wallet advertisement convince the viewer of the efficiency and necessity for this new technological product. 



New Technology- IPhone Survives Being Shot


Clearplex is a highly resistant phone cover that can withstand being shot with a handgun. Normally, this claim would sound completely ridiculous, but Clearplex’s ad stands as proof of the company’s bold claim.  This ad does a really good job explaining the Clearplex technology without being overly reliant on words. By depending solely on images, the ad is incredibly effective. After all, the best explanations are the ones that speak for themselves without needing a cheesy spokesperson since images greatly expand the power of words (Mitchell and Olsen’s “Tissues Are Soft” study). The ad begins with a rotating iPhone and Apple-esque music, which leads the viewer to believe that video is simply highlighting the phone itself. The gun is quickly inserted as a single frame followed by another single frame of a man about to shoot.  When the phone is actually hit, the music stops signaling this isn’t an ad for the iPhone itself, but instead for something that protects it. The captions clarify this by asserting that Clearplex could have saved the phone. The newly Clearplex protected phone is shot using a medium frame and a stable unmoving camera. As we learned in class, this type of shot is especially effective for performances, since over editing can sometimes draw attention away from the impressiveness of the performance itself. The purpose of this video is to show off the strength of the Clearplex cover and a medium stable frame was an intelligent choice, injecting an honesty and simplicity into the advertisement. The use of slow motion also helps achieve the objective of highlighting the Clearplex technology since it allows viewers to observe a higher degree of detail.



New Technology Commercial: Intel i5 Processor.


The aim of the ad was to advertise the hardware to non-specialist consumers. The standard hardware advertisements usually show off the product and its performance capabilities. However, the target audience most probably would not know or understand how the processor looks and works. Intel decided to put all the most popular entertainment activities, such as watching videos, editing photos, playing video games, using MS Office package; and most popular social websites that the average consumer visits regularly, in one clip, emphasizing that i5 can satisfy all the customer’s video entertainment needs. The overall presentation is also targeting average male user – the story is pretty simple but action packed. The scene transitions are most entirely cuts, which would appeal to men. This ad is more of an image ad than a product ad. Intel preserves the reputation of the manufacturer of the fastest mass production processors. Fast paced editing and fast switching between windows on the desktop emphasize this idea. The scene editing is superb. The woman always runs from left to right and video-audio synchronization is perfectly matching. This consistency makes the flow clear even when the scenes’ visuals change drastically. The narration is also very compelling. At first, one cannot even tell it is a computer related ad. Through narrative compression the huge chase is squeezed into 1.5 minutes. The narration keeps the viewer in constant anticipation of how the story will end. Change of shots is extremely rapid, so the commercial is automatically exciting to watch. Since speed is the core point of the ad, the extreme editing does not make the commercial less clear.


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