Commercial Bingo!

BRAND PERSONALITY is something that I often want to explain. The purpose of understanding brand personality as a layman (someone not working as a marketing professional) is to shield yourself a bit from the constant psychological bombardment that is commercial advertising. In my opinion, simply having to deal with being exposed to such a colossal volume of advertising over a lifetime is enough to drive anyone insane. So, let’s play commercial bingo!

Won’t you play commercial bingo with me? Caveat: once I tell you about this stuff you may never be able to un-hear it. I think it’s fun to play. Okay then.

Everything that I am going to explain about brand personality from this point on only pertains to the United States.

Naturally varying by nation is quite an interesting feature of “brand personality” that researchers are able to detect. In the United States, brand personality has 5 dimensions, no more and no less. Sometimes I get lazy and just call these the 5 personalities. It’s easier to play bingo if you just think of them as 5 different people in some vague, abstract way.

In order to play commercial bingo, you’ll need to memorize all 5 of these words. First, I recommend starting with SINCERE.

SINCERE is, from my experience, the easiest to play bingo with. In fact, you can start out learning how to play commerical bingo by just learning what sincere is and how to identify it. Did the commercial you just watch drip with a sentimental, family-oriented and wholesome sweet feeling? Do you ever feel like Campbell Soup kinda loves you? Some of your favorite brands have already made very serious commitments to the SINCERE gods and are enjoying some really fruitful rewards.

We can talk about SINCERE as a dimension of brand personality comprised by the following traits: down-to-earth, family-oriented, small-town, honest, real, wholesome, original, cheerful, sentimental and friendly.

Ok, before things get too wordy, the other 4 dimensions that you have to memorize in order to play bingo are: EXCITEMENT, COMPETENCE, SOPHISTICATION and RUGGEDNESS.

These dimensions are what you already intuitively think they are. But, here’s an overview of their traits just in case you’d like a little more illustration.

EXCITEMENT is daring, trendy, spirited, cool, young, imaginative, unique, up-to-date, independent and contemporary.

COMPETENCE is reliable, hard-working, secure, intelligent, technical, corporate, successful, leader and confident.

SOPHISTICATION is upper-class, glamorous, good-looking, charming, feminine and smooth.

RUGGEDNESS is outdoorsy, masculine, Western and tough.

Now, every time you are sitting through an endless barrage of commercials, you have a game to play! Next time you’re hearing about mesothelioma compensation and forgetting what show you’re even watching, think of this blog post.

The game can be a little frustrating because sometimes people do “mixes” of two dimensions (a dominant and an auxiliary) that can confuse you if you’re not careful. I recommend focusing only on the commercials that read clearly as one of the 5. You’ll really get that great winning-at-life feeling when you start to play commercial bingo. So if I didn’t come right out and say it yet, yeah, the “bingo” is just guessing which of the 5 every commercial is. Gee, life sure is fun!

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