Our attention is held captive by our not knowing what the fate of the mouse is. At this point in time, the audience is unsure of what direction the advertisement is going. The first thing that really grabs the audience's attention is the mouse. People have mice for pets, and the entertainment industry has made millions from movies such as Stuart Little where a mouse lives as a functional member of a human family, and Ratatouille, where a mouse plays a big part in a French chefs culinary skills.
The epitome of the mouse character is undoubtedly Mackey Mouse. A major icon as a part of Walt Disney's franchise, people from all across the world are able to recognize Mackey Mouse. Children grow up singing and dancing with Mackey, they learn their Abs with Mackey , and they dream of one day visiting Disney World to meet Mackey Mouse. Whenever there is a mouse, it would be difficult for the general population to not think of Mackey Mouse, the father of all mice. The advertisement uses the endearing mouse to target the animal lover in us.
We love our pets, we treat our pets eke family and upon seeing the mouse in the commercial, we automatically care for and are invested in the mouse's fate - or at least enough to watch the entire commercial. The second grabbing point that kept us focused on the ad was the music. Music can often times can be more expressive, more telling than the spoken word. Music is often used to set the tone, mood, and ambiance of a scene before anything else is brought into the scene. When we hear soft, slow music, we feel relaxed and open. When we hear fast, abrupt and loud noises, we feel anxious and anticipatory.
The first song, "On Top of the World" is by the band Imagine Dragon, It is a cheerful, lighthearted and fun song. The second is "The Doors" sung by The End. This song conveys a feeling of hopelessness, sorrow, and bitterness. For every person that is able to immediately identify with positive feelings of happiness, playfulness and love, there are two more people who are more able to identify and find comfort in the negative feelings of hopelessness and sorrow. Our society is built on chasing happiness, chasing what it is or who it is that makes us happy.
This makes us feel the same hopelessness and sorrow for the mouse. If we can identify with someone else, we immediately feel closer to them. The commercial ends with the song "Eye of the Tiger" by the Survivor. This is a classic and it is full of positive energy, encouragement, strength and the ability to persevere through anything and everything. The third and most important aspect of the Nolan Cheese advertisement is that the commercial takes us through a mini story, from blissfully happy, to tragedy, then to the resolution.
The beginning sets the tone of a perfectly content mouse, enjoying his cheese, being happy. We see that things don't stay happy for long because tragedy is introduced when the screen turns black and a loud clamp noise is heard while we are left to speculate whether or not our friendly mouse was caught in the trap or not. We are in suspense and we are unsure. The commercial can go in any direction at this point. Our thoughts run from the mouse being caught in the trap and he is gone forever, or our friendly mouse was able to escape, or the clamp was not a trap at all.
Curiosity killed the cat and curiosity will keep us focused on the ad to see what happens next. The screen then appears to show our mouse laying in the trap, breathing heavily, with "The Door" playing as the background music. From what we see to what we hear at this point, we feel sad and we feel sorry for our mouse. It looks like our mouse has been caught in the trap and his fate has been decided. Suddenly, "Eye of the Tiger" begins to play and our mouse starts doing bench presses using the trap parts.
The background music is encouraging, it is strong and it is rueful, which is the exact image that we see as our mouse not only is not caught in the trap, but is using the trap to his advantage. This is unrealistic and certainly would not happen in real life, but the advertisement made it possible in their world. The mouse was able to persevere and it is our human nature to love a good comeback story. We are able to laugh, be Joyful, and be in awe of the mighty mouse who was able to overcome such a obstacle. The Nolan Cheese commercial is able to draw in an audience from across the board because it targeted the human in us.
We all have had tragedy happen and we all know what it is like to be unsure of ourselves, be unsure for others, and not know what will happen next. We know the feeling of suspense and we know it is not a comfortable feeling. In addition, we also know the feeling of persevering, the feeling of being able to overcome obstacles in our life, and being strong enough to turn it into our advantage, Just like our mouse did in the commercial. It keepsake audience focused and watch all details of the ad, without taking our eyes away from the scene.
It gives the audience a happy feeling, a sad feeling, and a resolution, problem solved feeling. In the end the mouse is alive and still eating Nolan cheese, which one can argue is the only reason why the mouse was able to bench press the trap. Upon seeing the Nolan Cheese brand in the supermarket, the audience will immediately think to the mouse, the trouble, the perseverance, the eventual strength and happiness, and indirectly will feel like we will be able to have the same kind of ending if we buy Nolan Cheese because as aforementioned, we, as a society, Just want to be happy like our mouse.