November 13, 2017


Today, while sitting at a restaurant for lunch I saw a commercial about the military. The commercial featured several African-American NFL players talking about how much they respect the military. While I have nothing wrong with that message, I felt like it fell a little short. Because of the situation with the national anthem protests in the NFL (which you can learn more about here) the ad was direct in it's attempt to convince viewers that the protests had nothing to do with disrespect for the military. Again, I have nothing wrong with that message, but I think it could benefit from some subtlety. This is the concept I want to discuss today.


As a consumer, I like to blindly consume content. Sadly, as a media studies student, that isn't really a possibility. Because of this, I am quicker to judge advertisements than your average consumer. However, as an organization journalists are a big deal. Journalists look at things like I do, and then average consumers absorb what journalists say, are you catching my drift? The best way to assert an opinion or address an issue through advertising is to make your consumer come to a conclusion on their own, not because you told them to. 


For example, the NFL ad featured African-American players telling me they support the military. I probably would have been more touched if a journalist wrote an article about an NFL player and how he actively supports the military. That is a subtle way for the consumer to form their own opinion on a topic, rather than just take the NFL ad as fact.


Overall, I think subtlety is a concept that every organization uses. However, it is important to consider when running campaigns. Whether you're a nonprofit or not, you need to evoke emotion and allow your consumers to come to conclusions on their own. 

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