Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How much does happily-ever-after cost?

How many fairy tales do you encounter on a day to day basis? One? Two? Over a hundred, perhaps? In recent years I have noticed fairy tale imagery has had a massive resurgence in TV advertising, and as it has been suggested that we are subjected to hundreds - if not thousands - of adverts every day, our subconscious is probably inundated with happily-ever-afters off all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. 

It is unsurprising that companies use fairy tales as part of their marketing campaigns, as they create a sense of whimsical desire and romantic idealism. In the UK, I have noticed the appearance of fairy tales most in association with household cleaning products. Women are still the main targets of these adverts, as the assumption is that they do the majority of the housework. Cinderella, anyone? Cinderella slaved away for a long time, but eventually met her prince and found happiness. Regular women don't have such high expectations, but if the brand can make a woman relate to Cinderella somehow, she will associate their product with an easier life, a more accessible happily ever after.
See for example Cif and Vanish (which takes a slightly different approach, and shows the male cleaner as the woman's hero).

Cinderella is also famous for travelling to her ball in a pumpkin...but Go Compare picked up on the fact that the fairy godmother forgot to insure it!
'Change' is a recurring theme in fairy tales: there are rags to riches transformations, changes of affections, changes of states (eternal sleep to life, frog to prince...) We all want positive changes in our lives, so, how about faster broadband from Sky?

Pretty much anything can have a fairy tale angle found for it, whether its foodadventures far, far away, or just wanting to feel a bit more like a princess

And TV will always be suited to fairy tales: it is an easy form of escapism and entertainment, which are the main reasons we first come into contact with these stories, as children. TV viewers agree to suspend their belief in reality and presumably can remember being a child, a period in life when inhabiting alternate realities was far more common. With nostalgia thrown into the mix as well, the marketing teams are laughing.

Myth and magic continue to be a part of our daily lives, even if they don't appear in the most expected ways. It could be argued that fairy tales in adverts are just another fad, responding to the many new films, books and television shows, or going for the optimistic outlook in times of global financial hardship. It could be any number of reasons, yet at the same time, there is only one reason: be it in a big way or small, fairy tales will always be a part of our lives, and until we give up the quest for love, for riches, for happiness, or the fight for good to triumph over evil, chances are, they always will be. We just have to get used to seeing them in odd places...

No comments:

Post a Comment