Advertising That Works: Sprint “Oxen” Commercial

Remember way back, long, long ago, when flip phones were all the rage? Then maybe you remember this commercial:

In it, a farmer is standing in his field, forlorn, surrounded by hundreds of wiener dogs. What’s the problem? Well, he says, “I ordered two hundred oxen…not two hundred dachshunds.”

As a somewhat too-late solution, he is offered a new Sprint cell phone, to keep his conversations clear from now on.

We think this ad works because it’s hilarious! Not only does it brilliantly get the point across (“clearer service is useful; we offer clear service”) it also resonates with consumers over a long period of time. Viewers are still sharing this commercial around social media, and although the particular deal advertised is (obviously) no longer available, it’s still great publicity for Sprint.

Feel-good marketing is popular, and ads that keep making people laugh will keep being relevant for far longer than ads that simply inform consumers of a deal. That’s why this Sprint ad is this week’s “Advertising That Works!”


This Apple Commercial Makes Me Cry

Advertising that Works!

Have you seen Apple’s commercial titled “Misunderstood”? This TV commercial is like a novel without words. The scene is set during the holidays. You see a teenage boy going to a large family gathering. Throughout the commercial he looks like a loner, keeping to himself and busy on his iPhone during a time when he should be involved with the family. It looks, at first, like he doesn’t want to be there. The background music is to the solemn tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. In the end, the boy turns on the TV and you see he has been observing and filming the entire gathering. He has put together a video on his iPhone and replayed it for the family on Christmas morning.

Okay, watch it first and then tell me it doesn’t bring a tear of joy to your eye! No wonder Apple’s “Misunderstood” received an Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Commercial.

French Toilet Paper commercial with Tablet

This Friday’s “Advertising That Works!” is a funny French toilet paper commercial with a man disgusted at his wife Emma for always using paper instead of the newest technology in the form of a tablet or iPad.

Sure, the paper industry is struggling, but there’s one thing your tablet can’t replace. Check out this hilarious French ad for Le Trefle and remember that technology can’t replace everything.

The Cost of a TV Commercial


So how much does a television ad really cost? To price a TV commercial you need to weigh the costs of two things: The cost to produce the commercial and the cost to air the commercial. Production costs to create a commercial range in little to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some independent television stations will produce your ad for free if you sign up for a minimum of three months of commercial spots, but we don’t recommend that. The average cost for producing a 30-second commercial is nearly $350,000.  The standard half hour of TV contains 22 minutes of program and 8 minutes of commercials, 6 minutes for national advertising and 2 minutes for local.

Depending on the time of day aired (or viewers estimated), will determine the cost of the commercial. Obviously commercials during less-watched programs are more affordable, yet they may still run in excess of $100,000 per 30-seconds. These days, a prime-time 30-second TV commercial for a low-watched show will run you over $200,000. This past year’s Super Bowl commercials hit an all time high price of a 30-second spot costing $4 million to air, CBS reported.

Most small- to medium-sized businesses find that local advertising can be purchased for as little as $5 per 1,000 viewers, meaning that you could easily expect to pay less than $100 per commercial slot. The best way to cut costs is to make sure you know the programs your target market is most likely to watch. We suggest using a media- placement or ad agency to negotiate the best spot prices for you.