3 Reasons Why RadioShack’s Super Bowl Commercial Works

Radio Shack Commercial

With so many people either heading to their local Best Buy or reputable mom-and-pop shop in order to take care of their technological needs, it’s very easy to forget about RadioShack. Even though there are still a number of stores that are in business, for one reason or another, they are overlooked. One of the reasons, that I could gather, was the store was simply too stuck in the past. In a lack of effort that should raise the ire of any social media agency, RadioShack seemed reluctant to adapt.

This does not mean that the store did not try, though, and nowhere has that been clearer than in its commercial which aired during this year’s Super Bowl. The commercial opened with two sales representatives from RadioShack, one of them hanging up the phone before uttering, “The 80’s called. They want their store back.” At that moment, a series of icons from the 1980’s come into the store and proceed to take every bit of merchandise in order to make way for the future. Here are 3 reasons why this commercial works.

1. Nostalgia is a powerful tool. No matter how advanced things may become, it’s easy to look back on what you grew up with a sense of fondness. Fortunately, there are many different characters featured in this commercial that it is difficult to find one that wouldn’t be familiar. Horror movie fans from the 80’s would most likely remember the possessed doll known as Chucky. Hulk Hogan should also be recognizable, even if non-wrestling fans were watching, given his status as a household name.

2. It has enough entertainment to keep viewers interested. While the object of a commercial is to sell the audience on a product, service, or in this case an entire store, it should be created in such a way that comes across as entertaining. Fortunately, this is an ad where more than one viewing is required in order to pick up on the subtler references. For example, when Cliff Clavin from “Cheers” is stacking boxes around the 0:30 mark, it’s easy to overlook vintage video game character Q*Bert, hopping from one piece of merchandise to the next in the same shot.

3. RadioShack has proven itself to be self-aware. The fact that the company had enough humility to put forth a commercial that made fun of itself should speak volumes. It’s apparent that there are fewer customers going to those stores, especially when given the prevalence of other retailers that may be able to offer more than the same services. Every business has to change with the times or else it stands the risk of being left behind. Whether it’s unknown as to whether or not this ad will result in greater sales, it’s still a bold – not to mention fun – advertising maneuver.

Photo Credit

Rob Sutter

Rob Sutter is a writer & SEO specialist for fishbat, an online marketing firm located in Bohemia, NY. He graduated from Farmingdale State University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Professional Communications in addition to minoring in English Literature. Outside of writing, he is an avid gamer and professional wrestling fan.

2 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why RadioShack’s Super Bowl Commercial Works

  1. While I think the ad itself is amusing, I don’t know if I would say it “works.” Radio Shack has some fundamental problems that a nice ad does not solve: poor customer service, high prices, poor reputation. The stock has taken a nosedive over the last decade. Spending 4 million on a TV ad without changing the fundamental problems of the franchise is like taking an aspirin for cancer.

  2. Ryan – I can see where you’re coming from here. RadioShack has fallen on hard times and, for me, it’s easy to overlook the smaller store that is in a shopping center near my home. I do agree that RadioShack needs to change a lot of things before it can truly be considered “on the rise.” That being said, I’m optimistic. We’ll have to see what happens in due time. Thanks for the reply!

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