Analysis of John Smith's Advertisement

Categories: John Smith

Around the time of the Common Wealth games in 2002, a series of adverts from the John Smith's bitter company were released. These adverts weren't like those of other continental beers, meant to appeal to the youth of the country with flashy lights and young humour. They were made for working class, 'no nonsense', normal men. They did this by being very simple adverts which were funny due to their political incorrectness. These adverts all starred Peter Kay, a lancashiren, common comedian who everyone can relate to as a working class, down to earth person.

He fits the role perfectly for the adverts, being a normal person who is overweight.

Being overweight adds to certain adverts such as 'ave it' and 'top bombing'. In this text I am going to describe and analyse why these adverts made such a great success on British tv. The first advert was 'top bombing'. This advert started as a normal diving competition for the common wealth games.

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The advert looked a professional diving/swimwear advert from the first look. At the start we see 2 dives from 2 professional divers. These are then judged by 4 professional judges whilst being commented on by a well known professional diving commentator. The whole format of the event looked truly professional.

The pool was the official common wealth diving pool, even the crowd were professional. As the diving competition continues, John Smith steps up. This is when the viewer sees what the advert actually is. John Smith (Peter Kay) steps up to dive in his Bermuda shorts unlike the professional lycras that the other divers wore.

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As John smith begins his dive, the commentator says 'a running bomb' like he did with the other divers keeping the same format as though bombs are what people do professionally at diving competitions even though they aren't. As Peter does his bomb, water goes everywhere, the crowd cheer and the viewer laughs.

Even though a bomb is something you wouldn't do at a prestige event like this, the judges give him straight 10s. The advert keeps the same professional appearance throughout the advert which adds to the comical effect and then to end, John gets out of the pool with his Stomach hanging, fists clenched as the John Smith's logo appears saying 'No nonsense'. This saying is repeated throughout all of the adverts and is something that sticks in the viewer's mind. The reason this advert went so well and lead onto other John Smith's adverts was mostly because of how incorrect it was in today's society.

You wouldn't see an overweight man in Bermuda shorts do a bomb from a diving board in the Common Wealth games, never mind win it with straight 10s. This type of comedy makes it appeal to the older people as it is as it says on the tin, 'no nonsense'. This 'no nonsense' is used aswell, probably better, in the 'Ave it' advert. The 'ave it' advert begins with the traditional Sunday morning match between 'the lads'. In this advert we see the team of people doing kick ups and 'flash' skills between one another.

Because the advert is about football, the sport that the majority of 'normal men' in Britain love, the viewers are more likely to take notice of it. Like 'Top bombing', 'Ave it' also starts as a professional advert. Maybe it is advertising boots? Maybe it is advertising Sunday league football? As the viewer begins to question what the advert is about, the ball is passed over to Peter Kay, or as in the adverts 'John Smith'. As the ball is volleyed to him, he hits it as hard as he can, straight up into the air shouting 'Ave it' in his common, broad accent. The reason this is found funny is because of how unnatural it is.

You wouldn't expect someone to just smack the ball away; you would expect the kick ups to continue. As the viewer is finding the advert funny the camera goes back onto the players, all of them looking at John Smith with surprise on their faces which further implies how 'out of place', his adverts were. The advert then finishes with the same format of 'No nonsense' which can be linked to John Smith saying 'Ave it'. Instead of saying 'I'm going to kick the ball really far', there is no nonsense he just screams 'ave it'. As the 'no nonsense' come onto the screen we see a tray with oranges on, the traditional half-time orange, in English sport.

Beside the oranges there is a can of John Smith's. As Peter Kay runs up, the viewer further understands the no nonsense as Peter picks up the beer, shoving the oranges a-side. He doesn't want oranges, he wants alcohol. The reason this advert, I feel, appeals more then the 'top bombing advert' is because football is something everyone can relate to. Everyone can see how socially incorrect Peter Kay is in the advert further leading to its comedy factor and appeal for the product. Also now that 2 adverts had been released the 'No nonsense' adverts were becoming part in British conversation.

These adverts were becoming more and more popular. This is when the next advert came out; 'Mother'. In this advert we see an elder woman, who later we find out to be John Smith's mother, hovering. Like the other adverts there is no indication as to being a 'John Smith' advert until Peter Kay steps in, pulling the hoover plug. His mother, as any other would, asks him 'what do you think you're playing at? ' Peter sharply explains to her that she is going to an 'old people's home' and shows how he has packed her bags. Out of confusion she says 'but I'm 55', this is meant to imply she is too young to go to a home.

Instead of Peter trying to kindly explain why she needs to go, as per usual, he just blurts out the direct truth giving no thought about her feelings whatsoever. He explains to her how he 'wants to put a snooker table in her room and the children are afraid of her moustache'. The 'moustache' part even further implies how bluntly Peter puts it not thinking about how that would hurt her. He then walks out the door saying 'come on', 'avanti'. This is trying to show that he knows other languages even though he doesn't and being a Lancashiren, the word rolls off his tongue in a very common way.

The advert ends as all the others do with 'no nonsense' but this time there is a picture on a cabinet of his mother which is replaced with a snooker player which adds the final comical effect of the advert leaving a funny feeling to the viewer. The final advert of the 4 is 'nightmares'. In this advert we begin in an Indian restaurant, a nice place for a group of friends to go out for some fine cuisine. The advert, like the others, keeps its professional appearance by having an Indian with other people in and music playing and bar staff.

As many men, the prime audience, can relate to, a phone call comes from Peter's daughter's baby-sitter saying how his daughter was scared of the 'monster in the wardrobe'. For once though Peter sounds as if he is handling it well explaining how there is no such thing as monsters. This is when the screen goes over to his friends and wife looking at him happy with how he is taking it. This is until he says the following, 'it's not the monsters you should be afraid of. It's the burglars in breaking in through the windows'. This is when everyone looks at him in disgust. It is just something that you do not say to your scared child.

Although, it further implies the 'no nonsense' as Peter is not trying to comfort her and say there's nothing to get her. He tells her the blunt truth. He then hangs up on the phone, oblivious to how everyone else thinks about what he said as they stare at him. He just says 'what? ' He then turns around and says '2 more lambunas please' not bothering to ask anyone else if they would like anything. This goes on even further about the 'no nonsense'. The advert, then, as usual, goes onto saying 'no nonsense' but this time it is written in blood like writing with the wardrobe behind it, shaking as if there is a monster behind it.

This advert, more then most explain the no nonsense because of the use of a child. If you were blunt or 'no nonsense' enough to not bother thinking about adults feelings, people think 'ok'. Whereas when it is to a child, it surprises the viewer as to how arrogant the man is. All of this though just adds to the comical effect of the adverts which further entices the viewer to go out and buy John smiths. To conclude, I think these adverts became such a hit in the period of which they were shown due to how well they related to the audience they wanted to relate to.

The Working class, older men of Britain. The use of comedy just adds to the effect as everyone enjoys comedy. With the type of comedy it is people could converse to one another about the adverts which meant more people thought about it instead of just flicking the channel when the adverts began. These adverts lead to much more other companies taking the no nonsense idea and comedy effect into there adverts. These 4 adverts started a craze for advertising of many products on today's tv.

Updated: Mar 11, 2022
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Analysis of John Smith's Advertisement essay
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