Being a typical American, I’ve found myself watching a lot of T.V. Whether I be watching shows to pass the time or watching something that generally interests me, the only thing that is guaranteed is that I will be at least interrupted from my viewing pleasure by a few commercial breaks.
They are the definition of annoying.
Yet, since being back in the United States for about 2 weeks now, I can say that the overall concept of commercials is interesting to me now. Besides the fact that commercials are meant to break up a program and try to sell you something, I’ve noticed a difference in commercials here in the states compared to commercials back in Africa.
Here, commercials are lending themselves to more humorous types of ways to make you buy things, like having a baby try to sell you stocks on Etrade.
I love that baby. He’s hilarious.
However, in Africa, more modest, inspirational commercials are being played, videos that tell the people of Africa this company is working with you to make the community better, rather than just wanting you to buy their product.
Take a look of this example of a commercial played by Coke:
This commercial was easily played every 30 minutes. Yes. Coke has a large presence in Africa, and most certainly a larger presence than Pepsi does (does anyone even drink Pepsi anymore?), but I don’t think that is the reason why this commercial was played so much. No matter what, people are going to buy Coca-Cola, so it isn’t really an issue to play so much advertisements for the soft drink.
I think this commercial was played so much because of the message it has. From watching this commercial, I get a sense of belonging and entitlement. It tells me that everything in your life is going to be okay as long as you just believe in your community.
We don’t have these commercials here for the most part, which is disheartening seeing that our country is so big and calls itself home to people from all over the world.
I love you, Africa.