The advertisement I chose for this project was the T-Mobile’s “Drop The Balls” ad. It was aired during the Super Bowl’s 50th anniversary catching the audience of over 100 million people. The advertising starts off looking similar as Verizon’s advertisement. In Verizon’s ad, they are praising themselves for being the best network with more coverage and saying how the others didn’t have as much. They do this by having balls of different colors spiral down in a white platform and have a woman explain how much coverage Verizon had compared to the others. T-Mobile changed this ad by adding Steve Harvey when the bouncing balls start coming down. He enters to say that these were last year’s numbers, and that T-Mobile has doubled their coverage. He then refers to his Miss Universe 2015 mistake, by saying that the new numbers are in the card and that this time it was not his mistake. Then the purple bouncing balls over flood and he leaves.
This advertisement uses a lot of semiotics to catch the audience attention. The symbolism is easily seen with the balls going down the spiral. The balls have different colors which represent each carrier. The more balls there are, the more towers there each carrier has. The symbolism is pretty obvious. Moreover, Verizon has been playing the commercial for a while now so people already get the idea that the balls signify how much coverage the carrier has. When the T-Mobile balls spillover at the end, the audience gets the idea that T-Mobile has a widespread coverage and that it actually is a big competition with Verizon. Another important symbolism seen in the commercial is Steve Harvey himself. He represents a mistake, but this time it is not him making a mistake, it is Verizon by putting out a commercial without having the accurate numbers.
The psychoanalysis in this aspect is seen when they use relevant events that a lot of people were talking about. By adding Steve Harvey, they use celebrity appeal to get people talking about it. Even though this was a delicate topic for some people, especially Latin Americans, they got to make a joke out of it. Which may have caused somewhat of a controversy. However, it does work to get the emotional appeal of the audience, because people react to the joke and it makes them remember something that was talked about not that long ago. The audience starts think about how they felt when they saw Miss Universe and their reaction to it.
T-Mobile is one of the carriers that spend the most money on advertisements. For the 2016 Super Bowl, the price on the advertisements rose up to $5 million for the 30 second slot. The cost of putting out a commercial during the super Bowl has risen by 75% in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, taking into account that T-Mobile spends around $42.5 million only in television advertisements. It is surpassing most of the other carriers in the advertising their product.
From all the Super Bowl advertisements this is the one that caught my attention the most. I believe this was so, because of the reference it made to Miss Universe. This was a huge topic in Latin America so as a Latin American, when I saw the commercial it really struck me. I really liked that this was of use for something and at the same time it made me believe that this must have been embarrassing to Verizon as it was to him.