Have Something Interesting to Say

Have Something Interesting to Say

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Advertising is a conversation, and the first rule of conversation is to have something interesting to say. In this ad, Aquafina has nothing interesting to say. Anyone who watches it from start to finish will be disappointed.

Aquafina apparently thought about what message it wanted to send and didn’t worry about what message the target might want to receive. The spot fits an old model of advertising. According to that model, advertising works like a message-rifle used by the advertiser. The viewer has no more choice in receiving the message than the target has in receiving a bullet. That model was never accurate, and its inaccuracy has grown worse. Today, more than ever, the audience must be attracted to the ad and, ideally, participate in it.

The ad shows viewers that fit, attractive, young adults drink Aquafina. So by drinking Aquafina, the viewer can, in a sense, feel like a fit, attractive young adult with a “Happy Body.” The reward for drinking Aquafina suggested by the ad is not quenching thirst, reinvigoration, or renewal but user image. This is a reasonable approach, but this approach requires that the characters, activities and music be enticing. They aren’t. The ad seems more of a presentation than an invitation.

Viewers inevitably draw inferences about the brand from the ad. The primary inference drawn from this spot is likely to be that Aquafina is kind of boring. The ad gives the brand name, Aquafina, visibility, but it could have done a lot more.

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