Wanna be Smooth like Keith Stone?

When watching television you always see the different beer commercials. They attempt to present their product as the best beer that is out on the market using different techniques. These techniques influence the way consumers feel about their product, it is very important for the different companies to one up each other. These companies battle, in a sense, to make their commercials more appealing than other brands.

The text I thought was interesting and caught my attention was the Keystone Light commercials. They recently started these commercials that give their product a new image. They create this character, Keith Stone, and he’s always drinking the beer Keystone Light. There are a few commercials made based on him now and it’s almost like a series of commercials. Although they are corny and the dialogue doesn’t seem realistic, it gets the audience’s attention unlike other beer commercials. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Keith Stone is a blue-collar guy with long hair, mustache and appears to be lower class. He doesn’t look very clean, but he always finds his way with the ladies. The main idea they get across is that their beer is always “smooth” just like Keith Stone.

This is intended for mostly younger adults, such as college students and the younger working class. Their main competition has always been Natural Light. This is because they are both around the same price range and have always reached out to this young crowd.

The approach that best goes with this commercial would be semiotics. Semiotics is the social production of meaning that is constructed through the signs provided. There are signs embedded in all of these commercials with Keith Stone. The signs provide the audience a way to understand the meaning in how they are presenting their product.

One of the things I noticed in this text was the sign in the appearance of their character. The meaning behind this is that he is an average blue-collar man that is drinking their product. When you look at this process or signification you can understand that this company is implying that their product is cheap and affordable because this character obviously doesn’t have that much money. It is not intended for the higher-class beer drinkers, but that is the point. There is a reason they are using this character instead of someone in a suit that looks higher class.

When looking at this as a media critic, you might say that this is an iconic sign. This is a sign that resembles what they stand for. The way he appears resembles his class status. If you were to see a man in a suit, this would simply that he is of high-class status.

You can also look at it in a different way. He always gets these beautiful looking girls when in reality you’d think they wouldn’t even converse with him, They are implying that if you drink this beer you can be “smooth” like Keith Stone and get any girl you want.

When looking at this text from a semiotic meaning, there are different types of texts. There is a closed text, which has little room for your own meaning. And there is also open texts, invites the audience for their own meaning. In this particular text, I’d say there’s little room for the audience to give it their own meaning. It’s obvious what these signs are intended to mean and there’s not really another meaning to these commercials.

So what? Why is it important to examine these texts? And why does criticizing help us better as consumers understand the text and its influence? First off here’s an interesting website I found that explains a little bit about media criticism.

If you didn’t examine these texts you wouldn’t fully understand what the company’s message to you. You wouldn’t understand that this beer is intender for younger adults and those that don’t have a lot of money and can afford classier alcoholic beverages.

            Yes, I understand that when you watch commercials you don’t always think critically and are more into some of the humor that is presented. But without being critical you don’t understand the true meaning of their product and the companies’ intentions.

Overall beer commercials are one of the most competitive out there and always have underlying signs and codes in them. Keystone Light has made an incredible turn around after Natural Light had started taking over the market for the targeted population. I can say personally that these commercials made me try their product after being a regular consumer of their competitor, Natural Light. Their product is low quality, but their media is what really gets their targeted audience interested.