Erkki Pekkilä: "Connotative Meanings and Advertising Music" (4/11)


16. Three senior citizens, in baseball outfits, are standing in a circle, hands lifted. They embrace each other by the shoulders, then hug.

17. Wrigley's Extra Peppermint chewing gum packet is seen is in the centre with two other packets on its side, slowly turning around.

18. A little boy in a collared shirt and blue suspenders and his mother both holding hands. He has lifted his hand. Some ladies are seen in the background.

19. Four men are sitting in a row in navy uniforms, caps worn. They salute.

20. On a basketball court, a black and a white man in sportswear carry a third man, himself in a white shirt and tie, toward the camera.

21. Two Wrigley's chewing gum bars, Peppermint and Menthol, on a blue background. In the right hand corner there is a red text: "Now here." At the bottom, on a white background: "Real great tasting xylitol gum".

There is no plot in the commercial but it consists of a group of pictoral segments. Each fragmentary segment is a mini-story in itself in the sense that there is something happening in them. These happenings are flashes of every-day life, where dull moments have been cut out and what has been left is a series of high moments of life. The pictures are beautiful, like sugar candy, greater than life; there is nothing that would denote weariness or discomfort. People are more often than not young and beautiful. In spite of the fact that the commercial is fragmentary, there being no direct connection between the pictures, there is a logical connection behind the ensemble. In the pictures people often do something with their hands: lift them in the air, slap each other's hands, embrace somebody, keep the hands clenched. The shots also begin often with persons standing with their backs towards the camera and continue with them turning towards the camera. In the shots there is generally something interesting and surprising. The pictures change fast with an increasing pace toward the end of the commercial and thus climax.

The Lyrics

The commercial is heavily based on the jingle. The jingle in itself is a mainstream rock piece in a medium tempo and the emphasis on the second and fourth beat, performed by a rock group with an electric guitar, bass and drums. The (white) vocalist is singing with a rock sound, backed up in the chorus section by a female singing group. Structurally the music follows "pop," and there is first the A- section (with a chord structure I-V-I-V-IV-V/I-IV patterns -V/I-IV-I) and after it a B-section as the chorus, in the beginning of which there is a "small break" and an ascending, fanfare like upward "Wrig- ley" as a "pre-hook." Section B is four measures long, driving, IV-V-I chord structure based phrase that repeats itself a couple of times but that could be repeated for on and on. In the chorus there is the lyrics-based hook, a catch-phrase "It's a piece of America, share a little piece of America." The delivering of the message is supported by the fact that the slogan also shows up in a written form in take final take of the commercial, where there is a picture of the chewing gum and the previously mentioned text.

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AS/SA Nº 4, Article 6 : Page 4 / 11

© 1998, AS/SA

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