...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Corporate image TV advertising has a long history. We used to call it "institutional." As opposed to product-flogging hard sell ads. These days, prime time TV is dominated by buy-me ads -- too much competition out there to spend your expensive spot time trying to get people to love you for your good works. But on the Sunday political-public affairs and magazine shows, you'll still find institutional advertising, from biggies like ArcherDanielsMidland, for example. So much of it, in fact, you start to feel like you're in corporate church, with all the high-mindedness glowing out at you from the screen. If you're, uh, a little incredulous, like me, you start to wonder why. Could it be that the Meet the Press audience contains a lot of influential people who could, maybe, be influenced to think less harshly about your semi-harsh business practices? Enter Wal-Mart, whose new crop of Sunday morning do-good TV spots I spotted this morning. Did you know Wal-Mart has given more employees health insurance at, like a dollar a day, than, like, any other company? Those may not be the exact words on the spot, but that's the impression, which is what advertising's all about. The spot doesn't mention that this largesse is motivated by public and legislative pressure on the company. In the great tradition of corp-image TV ads, it sounds like WM has always done it. Well, here's a little collection of links, if you're interested in getting a fuller picture than you're likely to get in the Sunday morning ad market:

No comments: