Nature-as-backdrops and what it does to potential customers

Corbett pointed out there are four types of advertisement related to the environment. They are nature-as-backdrops, green product attributes, green images, and environmental advocacy. Using the environment in TV advertisements seems very suitable with today’s commercial trend. These days, commercials do not ask or tell what is better to use directly, but they often connect to emotional and exciting moments, memories, dreams, desires and morals. At the end of it, they just show the logo of the company. From my experience of watching commercials from different countries- USA and South Korea- commercials from the USA more often show the environment in the background when even the company or the product have nothing to do with it. I think it is in American culture that nature in the background possibly gives impression of somewhere to settle in like this commercial. It is a commercial of US Bank titled “the power of possible- new home” originally posted on

This commercial shows a valley full of dried grasses. It is not visualized but you can hear opening the door. The actor and actress supposedly a couple pretend there is a second story home. The guys open the curtains and the sun light shines on his face. You hear children laughing. I notice there are some actions intentionally expressed the idea. The same idea is also submerged in the nature. As soon as I see the dried grass, I assumed the sun is hot and wind is calm and dried like the fall. It is a harvesting season which also gives me a hint that it is a fulfilling time for the couple. They look to be in early thirties. The sunshine also gives me a sense of hope and refreshment. It is not like a fantastic vacation at white sand beach. It is more like a Midwest countryside out of nowhere, but it is more morally accepted and what many people commonly think as ideal place to settle in to start a family.

What I realized from watching the commercials similar to this one is that they are using the cultural and social idea submerged to the background nature. And a typical Midwest opening valley is commonly acceptable to many people in USA. Without knowing American culture and history, people might wonder why people go out on the hill out of nowhere and build a home in nature. In real word, it is more challenging to live with medical care, electricity and water, and education sufficiently provided. I can see people often wonder what if I lived more independently in an old fashioned way. Then it is easy to think their worries to be gone. It may target people who spend most of their time in cities, but also have a nostalgia or family background that came from a countryside. This can be very trendy background to give a sense of fulfillment and hope for tomorrow to the American audience, although a company or a product may have nothing to do with it.

Jisung Yu



One thought on “Nature-as-backdrops and what it does to potential customers

  1. I think you bring up a really good point. I remember discussing this in class and it’s almost disgusting to think about. Almost any company can unveil any message and put a beautiful background in and people will get a good feeling in their stomach. It’s gross how someone could be talking about burning fossil fuels and put a majestic, lush background in and people wouldn’t think twice about it.

    Mike Montague


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