When you're selling people a lawnmower or a vacuum cleaner, you can emphasize the technical superiority of your product: our lawnmower mows the lawn better, our vacuum cleaner cleans... the vacuum better, that sort of thing.
If your product has to be sold on subjective appreciation, however, you can appeal to something more basic: the desire to be popular. Instead of telling people how great the product is, you tell them how great they will become if they buy the product. Cool is as cool does, after all. See also the Bandwagon Technique.
- The commercials for Mentos always follow the same setup: young person comes across an obstacle formed by an older person, like a guard blocking the entry to a building or a parked car. He thinks a bit, and after popping a cool Mentos, performs some non-threatening act of social disobedience to clear the obstacle. Slogan: "Mentos, the Freshmaker". If that's not cool, I don't know what is.
- York Peppermint Patties (a particular brand of chocolate coated mint) advertises how cool (as in cold) that the product makes you feel, as if the product were vomited out of the Arctic or something.
- Extremely common in car commercials. Usually the car will be shown driving through the city at night with hip-hop music playing, as if the occupants were on their way to the Coolest Club Ever. Sometimes they're driving instead through an impressive landscape that's unlikely to feature on most of the customers' work routes, like mountains, desert or the Antarctic.
These days it seems like everybody's trying to be cool. But isn't being cool the furthest thing from cool? Maybe we should all just try to stop being cool and just, well, be.
- A recent car commercial is worth noting. It seems to pretend to avert this trope, without any real substance, with the following statement said throughout:
- And don't forget the cars that are so cool they warp reality. There was a car commercial where the vehicle in question was driving through a Tim Burtoneque forest where all the trees were trying to smash his car up out of jealousy. Or something.
- A certain series of car ads has the car navigate a similarly belligerent, anthropomorphic city.
- Print ads for tobacco products used to be notorious for this, and to an extent still are one brand of cigarette is actually named Kool. This inspired the page quote from a Joe Camel stand-in on an episode of Futurama. Cigarettes give you an air of retro chic. Camels in particular evoke a bizarre pseudo-Turkish (and thus exotic) influence. And naturally chewing tobacco is the sure sign of a rugged mountain man.
- Sportswear in general and running shoes in particular practically live on their ability to make their wearer look cool. Although superficially emphasizing how fast/far/high you will go in sports, it's really about how much you will be envied for your overpriced, street-robbery-inspiring apparel.
- Then again, they're fashion accessories. That is their primary purpose; the idea they'll make you into the next Michael Johnson is the bullcrap.
Food and Drink
- Just about any soft drink ever manufactured has used this type of commercial (how any given drink tastes usually isn't brought up), hence the trope name. The most obvious example is 7-Up's slogan "It's Cool To Be Clear", which was accompanied by a mascot designed to be the epitome of cool (at least for The '90s). Not to mention that Coca-Cola fancies itself as "The Real Thing," Pepsi expects you to name your entire generation after it, and Mountain Dew can apparently only be enjoyed by people who run around screaming while riding mountain bikes off cliffs. Some companies deliberately attempted to invert the trope: OK Soda was Coca-Cola's attempt to reach hipsters who wanted a humble off-brand, while Sprite's long-running slogan was "Imagine is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst."
- Miracle Whip. Yes... Miracle Whip, the pseudo-mayonnaise, is now running an ad campaign styled like this. "We're Miracle Whip, and we will not tone it down."
- Dos Equis beer has The Most Interesting Man in the World, who shows what can happen when this trope is played with a wink and a nudge (pure concentrated awesome.)
Stay thirsty, my friends.
- Played straight in ads for Smirnoff Ice, which feature model-perfect twentysomething hipsters throwing impromptu raves in unlikely places such as subway cars and abandoned gas stations, with Smirnoff Ice as the drink of choice.
- Zima happily abused this trope in the late Nineties. Basically, it was just another malt beverage made by an American brewer, but commercials played it up as this ultimate imported stuff that people at the Coolest Club Ever would let touch their lips exclusively. Unsurprisingly, it got a rep as being a drink for girls and snooty hipsters too wimpy to drink "real" alcohol and lost marketshare fast.
- Back in the day, Lucozade was marketed as a high-sugar restorative drink for invalids, suitable for those convalescing after surgery. During the 1980's, as the British people had long since come out of wartime restrictions and post-war austerity and simply didn't need excessive sugar to restore health, the flagging beverage was repackaged as a "sports drink" to enable athletes to pull that last bit of match-winning vitality out of exhaustion. Overnight a tonic for the sick became cool as a miracle drink for the super-fit and those who aspired to be super-fit. Nothing inside the rebranded bottles and cans changed, though.
- An ad for a game player is shot at various clubs and parties so cool you will never be there, with the POV obliviously glued to the game...because it's so much cooler.
- An ad for an Hungarian radio, inverted this trope, by having several people tell their (positive) opinions about it, ending with a stupid looking, boring and generally uncool old bum saying "Meh. I don't listen to that stuff."
- There's a series of digital camera ads with former "That '70s Show" star Ashton Kutcher disrupting various hip functions, lately a fashion show - there's a thin line between 'cool' and 'tool'.
- The parody by Comedy Troupe Picnicface called POWERTHIRST.
- "BABIES! You'll have so many babies! 400 babies!"
Live Action Film
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy has Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries. It's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
- In the Strong Bad Email "candy product", Strong Bad thinks up a ridiculous candy bar called SBLOUNSKCHED!, and then imagines a commercial where he goes around messing with his friends and neighbors, who brush off whatever he did to them when he holds up the candy bar.
Strong Bad: Man, with a candy bar like that, you could get away with anything!