Living Hard-ish: Analysis of Henry’s Hard Soda Commercial

This advertisement featuring Henry’s Hard Soda is done by a company called Mekanism. Mekanism is an advertising company that works to combine technology, design, culture and branding identities into their produces projects. They have received many awards for various commercials they have created including Clio Music Awards Bronze in 2017, and Advertising Age Best Places to work in 2016[1]. Their reputation rests on creating shareable content that tells entertaining stories while educating its publics about a brand’s identity. They seek to create unique ads that engage their viewers and interact with them.

Mekanism has worked with a large variety of clients over the years. To name a few they have produced commercials for HBO-What Connects Us, Muscle Milk-Strong Feels Good, and It’s on Us-Auto Correct[2]. Their advertisement for Henry’s Hard Orange Soda fits a 15 second commercial time slot and has been featured on multiple TV channels.

Their use of humor and straight sell are paired together to create an ad that features the product’s features and interacts with the audience[3]. Straight sell is used by featuring the product and describing that it’s an alcoholic beverage, but it’s not too hard so you can do things the next day. The humor comes into play with the coaster sliding into the scene comparing the hard-ish soda to that of being softer or more feminine in nature. Introducing the feminine pun line also juxtaposes the hard soda with that of the more masculine tonality beers tend to align with.

With only 15 seconds of time, the ad refrains from introducing multiple scenes or characters and relies on a simple washed out background and man in blue to show us the product. The man’s face is also left out of the frame so the viewers are forced to focus more on the product that is placed front and center for us to see. The ad continues to be visually appealing by bouncing the orange of the soda to the blurred background that contains some orange color. The blue shirt of the man poses as a complementary color to accentuate the orange soda even more. A narrator’s voice is also used to deliver all the information of the commercial before giving us the punch line of the commercial prior to introducing the products name and logo.

This commercial can appeal to a variety of demographics for the company and because its formatted for 15 seconds it can fill a variety of different slots on potentially different networks given that Henry’s Hard Soda’s budget accounted for the expenses of different networks. The format of this commercial also allowed it to be the foundation for a variety of other commercials that feature different flavors of the same soda, but have different punch lines delivered to appeal to other senses of humor.

The humor aspect of these advertisements enables viewers to have an interaction with them all while receiving information through visual contact about the brand, it’s identity, and what type of person they are looking to sell their product to.