Assignment 3: 50s TV Advertisement

Brief

To create a storyboard for a short advertisement that features a modern day brand reimagined as a different product in the 1950s. The final product must include research on 50s advertisements and techniques such as use of shot composition, audio and motion.

Research

To raise the morale of the public during the post-WW2 depression in the 50s, most media was designed for giving people hope that things would be better in the years to come. Cinema aided in this by promoting technological advancements through science fiction. Films like ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ (1951), ‘Forbidden Planet’ (1956), and ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ (1957), all emphasized the potential of science, and how it could influence the future beyond the realm of imagination, at least for the time. As such, advertisements from the 50s presented products as though they were an advancement, the keywords used including ‘new’ and ‘advanced’.

Advertisements in the 50s typically varied depending on the product itself. For consumable products such as Coke Cola and EZ-Pop Popcorn, the advertisement presents them mostly with music, and shots of people interacting with the product. For products that are used at home or are general use, they are presented in more of a matter-of-fact way, with music being used as a backing track for the voice over.

Commercials often varied depending on the product and the age of its intended audience. When advertising to a younger audience, usually between the ages of 10 and 25, commercials used more high-energy music such as jazz or swing as a way of conveying an energetic and youthful ideal. For older audiences, music tends to be slower, often sung by older performers, so as to give a more mature impression.

Development

I decided from the start that the end product would be for a shaving razor, as shaving razors were a commonly advertised product. As the theme of 50s was advancement and the future, I went with an automated razor, since electric razors would become a more common way of shaving for people in the decades to come.

From the advertisements for Schick Electric Shaver and the Remington Shaver, three particular aspects seemed common for electric razors: eye level close up shots of a man using the product to shave, a close up shot of the product being held, and the razor being used to shave an inanimate object, such as a peach or a cactus.

For the brand I chose to parody I went with Panasonic, the electronics manufacturer. As an electronics company, it would be easy to correlate Panasonic with an electric razor, with the possibility for a pun or two.

Razor Image

Panasonic Electric Razor image
Panasonic Electric Razor, with a leather case.

Script

(Scene opens on a man struggling to shave with an unlabeled electric razor)

Voice Over: There are many razors out there that simply don’t stack up to what they say they’ll do. In this day and age you need a sound investment.

(Transition to a close up of the Panasonic Electrical Shaver)

Voice Over: Panasonic Electrical Shavers are the newest top-of-the-line shaving devices to hit the shelves, guaranteed to give you a sound, clean shave every time.

(Scene transition to an animation depicting hairs being guided to razor blades and cut)

Voice Over: Our razors move at twice the speed of your average razor, meaning not a single hair gets left uncut. You’ll never waste another second when you shave

(Scene transition to the razor shaving a peach)

Voice Over: Just watch how quickly and efficiently this peach loses its fuzz. And not a singe abrasion on the peach’s delicate skin!

(Transition back to the electrical razor, with the logo at the top of the page)

Voice Over: Panasonic Electrical Razor, “a sound shave every time”.

Storyboard

Storyboard page 1
Commercial Storyboard

Evaluation

The aim of the brief was to reimagine a current brand as a product for the 1950s, and create a storyboard for a short commercial advertising the product. The brand I chose to reimagine as a product is Panasonic as an electric razor, as it ties in with the theme of advancements in the post-WW2 era. The commercial I designed is a generic commercial that would be played briefly between shows on television, based off of previous commercials of the like. The visuals on the storyboard are clear and concise, portraying each scene clearly. The text beneath each panel gives a brief explanation of what is happening on screen, as well as the script for the narration. I was not able to work out a way to include both the script and a full description so the descriptions are brief. If I were to improve it I would rework the storyboard to include an easier way to include the script and have better descriptions of the scene.

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