Thursday, April 12, 2018

Animated Email Advertisements and Color Theory

We continue our examination of animated emails from top brands by taking a look at Olive Garden's National Breadstick Day advertisement. Olive Garden is a well-known restaurant known for its home-style attitude, its never-ending garlic breadsticks, and its amazing salad dressing. The following email advertisement was for National Breadstick Day, trying to get their newsletter followers to "celebrate breadsticks" at their nearest Olive Garden.

Olive Garden National Breadstick Day Advertisement - Overall Grade: B-


This specific advertisement is alright. The animation itself is choppy, almost looking like stop-motion, which could potentially be in order to add to the homemade feel that the restaurant likes to advertise. The way that the breadsticks are crawling off the plate is definitely a plus, though, because it seems to imply that everyone at the table is taking the breadsticks and that everyone wants some. The composition of the advertisement is very good, though, having the plate of breadsticks in the center as if the reader were looking down at their table, then having their signature salad in the upper lefthand corner and what looks like a soda in the upper right. 

Having the colors of the letters be the light green that they are is both aesthetically pleasing against the dark brown of the table, and is great at connecting the entire piece together as it's the same color as the salad in the upper lefthand corner. The alternating brown color is good as it also connects to the brown wood of the table the plates and whatnot are sitting on, and as a good contrast to the white plate. This is all ignoring the fact that the new logo is made with the same colors, however, and the colors could just be exact color drops from that. The same logic could be applied to those colors being chosen for the logo as well, though. Green is usually associated with nature and freshness, which are good to think of with a restaurant that has a very memorable salad appetizer. Not to mention that it's associated with growth and money, possibly subconsciously telling their customers that they are a very successful company and that they're a good choice to go to. The brown is effective in sharing the idea that the restaurant is friendly, which is a selling point in most of their advertisements as well.


The message below is very clever. Most, if not all, of Olive Garden's audience, love their signature breadsticks, and the company is capitalizing on that. By saying that "one breadstick is never enough," Olive Garden is subconsciously telling its audience that they need to eat multiple breadsticks to feel satisfied, which is good, considering that the restaurant gives unlimited servings. Even the button at the bottom is useful with this, by bringing home the entire advertisement and reminding the audience why it was sent out. By stating "celebrate breadsticks" on the button to the website, they both remind the audience that it's National Breadstick Day, but also make them crave exactly what they're trying to sell.

The grade I've given is derived from the overall placement of the components and the design of the advertisement, but not the animation itself. Even if the point of having the choppy animation was to add to a homemade, stop-motion feel to the advertisement, it seems lazy and uninteresting. The composition and colors were nice, as well as the written message below, which definitely helped boost the grade a bit. Although, no matter the interesting thought development behind it, and the message it may have, this advertisement doesn't make me feel as though I need to go out and get some breadsticks alongside some Olive Garden Italian food, even if it was National Breadstick Day.


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