Ahh, summer. It’s upon us, finally.
For most people, summertime is the season that means relaxation, sunshine, and parties. It means mountain bike races in the rocky wilderness, neighborhood pool parties, bar crawls that last from sundown to sunrise, or vacations in far-away countries.
This time of year fills people with excitement and the promise of making great memories—and this feeling is not lost on companies who want to sell us stuff.
Corporations “use” summer. Let’s be honest. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it is a big-time tool to sell, sell, sell. And it works.
Summertime has an unmistakable feel to it that moves people, and companies know and understand this. Summer represents youth, freedom, and hope: three of the most important things that marketers can grab onto to tap into consumers’ desires.
Ever since we were kids, summer is a mental burst of energy that fills us with the thought that anything can happen over the course of a few stress-free months. It meant no school; it meant hanging out with our friends in bathing suits, and it meant parties and trips where anything was possible. It meant sleepovers that lasted a week, midnight refrigerator raids, bonfires, concerts, driving around town until 5 a.m., first kisses, cannonballs at the lake, camping under the stars, and so many other magical things.
Summer makes everyone feel nostalgic, and marketers do not mess around when it comes to harnessing that feeling in order to make you want whatever they’re selling. Check out these ads for H&M, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Nintendo 3DS, Starbucks, and Jeep, to name just a few.
See what they did there?
Beaches. Bright drinks. Bright colors. Happy girls in swimsuits. Youth. Fun. Freedom. Possibility. SUMMER. No matter how old you are, where you come from, or your gender, summer is a concept that we all just want to reach out and grab.
One of the greatest advertisements of all time for capturing this feeling extremely well is this Levi’s campaign from several years back. It elegantly reflects the wild abandon and unleashing that we feel at the beginning of summer. An ad which hitches its wagon to the “anything is possible” concept is this one from Coke, when they were promoting their name-on-a-bottle campaign.
The general idea is, no matter how you’re spending your summer—whether it’s outside camping, on an exotic getaway, experiencing extreme sports, partying, spending time with family, or simply relaxing—marketers want you to think that their product will make whatever you’re doing better, more convenient, and more fun. They’re not selli.
- Coca Cola will make your beach time more refreshing.
- A PacSun backpack will make your camping trip easier.
- Ray-Ban sunglasses will make you look more sophisticated on your trip to Cancun.
- Xbox will ensure you have a game-filled, action-packed summer vacation.
- McDonald’s will feed you throughout those summertime road trips.
- HBO will give you plenty to watch over the long summer nights.
Around summertime, marketers get creative. They have to—there’s lots of competition when it comes to seasonal advertising, and summer is probably the biggest draw. Everyone wants to look good, everyone wants to have fun and enjoy food and drink, and everyone wants to hop in their car and go on trips.
Whether companies decide to go with adventure, something funny, something alluring, or something that looks like it will be refreshing in the heat, most advertisements that focus on summertime can’t really fail. It’s not too hard to pull consumers into the world of balmy nights and fun-soaked days.
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