News organizations around the globe would always report instances of violence from households due to misunderstandings to the battlefield due to political, religious or social undertakings. In lieu of these violent conflicts, several methods have been applied to try to diffuse the tensions and introduce peace such as negotiations, armed conflict and treaties. However, while these methods can be effective at times, some companies believe that there is no need to undergo the grueling political dealings to foster peace. In order to sell both their products and advocate peace, companies use television advertisements to show that their products can help foster peace either in simple misunderstandings or times of great conflict.
The concept of peace is not often seen in many commercials or advertisements due to the very heavy message it conveys to people. However, in recent years, companies have given a new definition on how peace can be attained through their products as seen in the advertisements of Honey Nut Cheerios (“Peace Offering”, 2009), KFC (“Find Some Peace”, 2013), Coca-Cola Company (“Coca-Cola Small World Machines – Bringing India and Pakistan Together”, 2013) and Axe Peace (“Call to Arms/ Make Love, Not War”, 2014). In a general extent, each commercial would showcase instances of misunderstanding, conflict and danger (especially seen in the Axe Peace commercial) before introducing their product as a means to produce or reach peace. In the Honey Nut Cheerios commercial, the man used several grains of Cheerios to catch the attention of the woman and used it as a peace offering to solve their slight misunderstanding. In the KFC commercial, the man stuck in the middle of the argument handed the conflicting parties food to stop them from arguing. Coca-Cola took a different approach for their commercial and showed that a simple Coca-Cola vending machine reached out to neighboring states that had long been separated, not just by visible barbed wires, but also by misconceptions and stereotypes. Finally, the Axe Peace commercial showed just how much tension and chaos is brought by military forces in several parts of the globe before revealing that even these steeled men would stop for the sake of their love ones through the aid of a fascinating scent brought by Axe Peace.
However, looking closely at these four commercials, it is visible that they did not just use the scenarios to sell their product and advocate peace, but they hid several symbolisms and messages in these ads to convey their position to the viewers by appealing to their emotional response (Pathos) and sense of reason (Logos). In the emotional extent, the Cheerios, Axe and Coca-Cola commercials appeals to the public that simple products can help in mending bridges and entice feelings of a happy or hope-filled peace in the scenarios provided. In the Cheerios commercial, the scenario is aided by music to trigger the mood that in order to resolve simple quarrels or misunderstandings, one can make simple gestures make peace. The commercial also added the product’s slogan “Everyday could use a touch of Honey” to build in the perception that a peaceful day can begin with a simple and sweet meal. For the Coca-Cola commercial, it appeals to audiences that the tensions between India and Pakistan had already cut so deeply that Indians and Pakistanis developed a perception that they cannot work with the other and even if they were willing to bridge the barriers still remaining between their nations; they could not do so. Through the help of Coca-Cola’s interactive vending machine, the audiences’ emotions are triggered that there is indeed a possible way to stop conflict and insight happiness and peace through simple solutions and initiatives. It also advocates that people themselves want to be together and that exchange of ideas and thoughts would foster understanding and peaceful relations. Finally, Axe pulls the heartstrings of its viewers by showing various clips of war and conflict and indirectly show that war and military presence insights fear. However, it then turns the scenario to the men and their respective partners and then triggers the feeling of love and affection that would then stop conflict and prosper peace, which is eventually aided by the product. The slogan of AXE Peace fuels the emotions that with a little bit of love, wars can stop and bring forth peace.
In the case to their appeal to logic or reason, the commercials also provided some reasoning regarding breaking the barriers to introduce peace. For the KFC commercial, it shows that food has indeed the capacity to stop simple conflicts at home especially if it is very delicious. The Cheerios and Coca-Cola commercial also conveyed that beginning small steps to solve bigger issues is possible if one is ready to press on to change the understanding of the people and make peace. One of the citizens interviewed for the Coca-Cola ad even stated‘strife would go away if you took away the barriers in the two countries’. In the case of Axe Peace, it proves that love can entice not just togetherness of couples but also diffuse the tensions caused by conflict and enable peace to prosper.
Peace isvery sensitive topic for many people, especially in times of conflict may it be at home orthe battlefield. The four commercials used in the paper exhibit that, from simple products and ideas, people can bridge the boundaries they have created (May it be because of simple misgivings or complex armed strife) and entice peace to prosper by using simple gestures and even products to aid this goal.
BBHLondon. “AXE Peace | Call to Arms (Official Extended Cut).” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, Jan 15, 2014. Web. Feb 16, 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z38VrjdE_I>
Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola Small World Machines – Bringing India and Pakistan
Together.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, May 19, 2013. Web. Feb 16, 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts_4vOUDImE>
KFC. “Find Some Peace.” Online video clip. iSpot.tv. iSpot.tv, December 22, 2013. Web. Feb
16, 2014. <http://www.ispot.tv/ad/76b3/kfc-find-some-peace>
Tamsen McDonough. “Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal commercial – “Peace Offering”.” Online
video clip. YouTube. YouTube, Oct 9, 2009. Web. Feb 16. 2014. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxzLe08LjIY>