As I was getting ready to write another post about miniatures (for the Manifesto Part 1, 2,or 3), I was struck last night by the number of television commercials that featured miniatures. In less than an hour, I saw five ads that featured dollhouses or used a dollhouse analogy (I kept shouting, “There’s another one!). That is remarkable if you think carefully about it. I have always argued that miniature worlds, rather than just being toys or cute playthings, are really some of the best analogies for understanding how our everyday lives are structured. What does that mean? First, an analogy is a comparison between two unlike things. The purpose of using an analogy is to use the known element (like a dollhouse) to help explain or make acceptable a novel or unfamiliar element. In the case of my ad examples from last night, dollhouses or miniature scenes were used to explain insurance, drugs, travel, and technology. That suggests that showing a miniature is a powerful way to connect a viewer to a familiar experience or sentiment or thought pattern. Dollhouses, in general, don’t have negative or dire connotations. Instead, as many miniaturists have argued, dollhouses are connected to happy, family-oriented, and positive feelings and moods. Using a dollhouse in an ad, then, can connect a viewer instantly to a sphere of good feelings and experiences, even if the product it is connected to in the ad is not directly connected to dollhouses. Here are the examples. The full ads can be seen by clicking on the image. Notice the similarity between the Advil image and Motel 6.

ADVIL:

Advil dollhouse

GEICO:

Geico Apartment

HUMIRA:

Humira dollhouse

MOTEL 6:

Motel 6 Dollhouse

DIRECT TV:

Direct TV

 

UPDATE:

Here’s another one, and Darren posted a great one in the comments. Post a link to any more that you find.

GE:

And more since the last update.

PLANTERS PEANUTS:

planters-deluxe-mixed-nuts-holiday-party-large-4

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER FOR MOBILE STRIKE:

Here’s where two of my worlds come together: miniatures and Arnold (since I have published two books and numerous articles on him).

mobilestrike2cap mobilestrike1cap

HONDA: HAPPY HONDA DAYS

HondaHappyDaysmini

 

GEICO: VALET:GECKO JOURNEY

geico-valet-gecko-journey-large-5

PHILLIPS 66: BIG 12 DOLLHOUSE

phillips-66-big-12-dollhouse-large-9

 

STARBURST: TINY JET

starburstjets

ANOTHER ONE: MINI CADBURY’S