Kenneth Cole is well knows not only for his successful business but also for his numerous social advertisements. Among these is the advertisement titled “Wake up call” which came out on the break of the century. This is truly a work of modern art that not only effectively uses marketing strategies, but also makes one think and ponder over the idea portrayed. This advertisement is especially successful because it is depicted on an everyday object; uses play of words and at the same times gives clear facts about the situation at hand.
You can no longer surprise anyone with a commercial on TV, on a poster or even on a bus. These simply blend in with the huge mass which is out there every day. However, picking an object such as a cup is a very creative idea with a distinct function. The main reasoning must have been to pick an object which many people come in contact with and find common place. Just by making something common place out of the ordinary is enough to attract the attention of not only the person holding the cup, but perhaps even of the person nearby. These kinds of ads are getting more and more popular nowadays; however, back 12 years ago it really was something curious. Picking a cut is also very symbolic. A coffee that wakes so many up each morning now serves as a wake up call for something more than just the body. Now that the attention is grabbed visually, it is time to conquer the mind.
The writing on the cup is a compete play of words. A well-known idiom is written on the cup – “wake up and smell the coffee”. There have been so many alterations to it over the years that many are probably more familiar with a redone version of the saying; for example, “wake up and smell the roses”. Nevertheless, the reader is for sure interested and amused and then finds the main message of the cup.
“Over 750,000 go homeless each night”. Hard statistics are the backup facts of the issue at hand. Sometimes it is just not enough to say that there is a problem. Human beings of today need hard fact and shocking numbers to grasp the truth and realize that there is a problem. This is what the advertisement does. Once the full idea of the message is understood, the reader is left there with a cup of coffee thinking that this is already a luxury for so many people out there. To make people think is the main goal of this advertisement and it reaches it completely.
Kenneth Cole’s advertisement “wake up call” is successful because of the object on which it is depicted, because of the amusing play of words and the shocking facts at hand. All of this, combined with the name of such an influential individuality as Kenneth Cole at the bottom, makes one simple advertisement hugely successful. It may not sell any product and may not directly raise any money for the homeless. However, the effect that this little cup can have on an individual, on so many people of New York City in the year 2000 is gigantic.
Cole, Kenneth. “Wake up call”. Kenneth Cole. 2000. http://www.kennethcole.com/content/popUp.jsp?page=archive&h=650&w=820 09/02/2012