If you look at it, a TV commercial has a lot to do in 30 seconds. You have roughly 45 words to do it with. Within that time, you must introduce the product, make the pitch and end on a persuasive note. (45 words up!) You could argue that this is done hundreds of times on every TV channel, so it must be easy. The best commercials have evolved a very superior form of shorthand, one that speaks volumes with the smallest time span. The next time you watch the Hutch commercial or for that matter the Bank of India commercial, count the number of shots. Few last more than a second - some of them even less. And yet, the story arc is complete. (Grandfather teaches boy the first rule of investing. Start early. Go to someone you believe in. And stick with them) Time actually seems to slow down when you watch the commercial.
I see criticisms of ads which say - all ads use stereotypes. Of course they do! 30 seconds is not, excuse me, time enough for character development. So you start with a stereotype. Bad boss. Stern Mother in Law. Nerdy teenager. Cool Dude. Whacky Babe. Religious Nut. Goofball. Nervous boyfriend. Nosey Neighbour. As you read this, I'm sure images come to your mind. And I'm willing to bet that they are from commercials that you have seen. Even if you can't recall the exact product or service. Think about that the next time an ad manges to catch your eye. And refuses to let go.