Ad Space – Hey, Norm!

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Anti-vaping PSA

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
Talking to your friends about vaping can be rough, but it can’t be rougher than when this guy does it.

This ad means well. The obvious message is that, if you’re concerned about a friend’s vaping habit, you can’t expect someone else to talk to them about it. You’ve got to do it yourself, because what’s the alternative? Some guy named Norm?

All well and good, except … they really play up the awkwardness of what talking about vaping can be like. That’s the source of the ad’s humor, that Norm here is an out of touch adult doing cringey attempts at relating to The Youths These Days. But those cringey attempts are the only examples of “The Vape Talk” we get.

Regardless of the intended message, it feels like people will come away from this PSA thinking (however subconsciously), “Geez, maybe I shouldn’t talk to my friend about their vaping. I don’t want to be a try-hard, out-of-touch buzzkill like Norm Davidson.”

They’re trying to get viewers’ attention by utilizing humor, but there can come a point where the humor runs counter to getting a sincere message across.

Still, while I doubt its effectiveness as a PSA, at least I got a good chuckle out of it!