Quick Questions: On Citing Commercials

Question: 

How would I cite a commercial in my works cited page?

Response:

Hello, _____,

Thanks for using our Quick Question service.  Hopefully my response will be of some use for you as you proceed with your commercial analysis or marketing report or whatever it is that you’re working on.

The way a commercial gets cited depends in part on what kind of format style you are using.  I’m going to assume that you’re either supposed to use MLA or APA, so I’ll answer this question for both.

From TV: MLA

Company or store name.  “Title of Commericial (if possible).”  Network.  Date you saw it. Television Commercial.

Example:

MolsonCoors.  “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” ABC. 3 Nov. 2011. Television Commercial.

Then the in-text citation would look like this:

“Stay thirsty, my friends,” says the Most Interesting Man in the World (MolsonCoors).

From TV: APA

Company or store name. (Year you saw it).  Title of commericial.[Television Commericial]. Network.

Example:

MolsonCoors.  (2011). The most interesting man in the world [Television commercial]. ABC.

And the in-text citation would look like this:

“Stay thirsty, my friends,” says the Most Interesting Man in the World (MolsonCoors 2001).

Overall, though, if your commercial(s) can be found on the Youtube I recommend citing them through that source.  Through this website anyone who wants to can access the material making it way more on-demand than an elusive television ad.

From YouTube: MLA

“Listed Title of the Clip.” Commercial.  Date it was posted.  YouTube.  Date you accessed it.

Example:

“The Most Interesting Man in the World: People hang on his every word, even the prepositions.” Commercial.  2009 June 18.  YouTube.  3 Nov. 2011.

And the in-text citation would include the title (or a modified version of the title if it’s as long as this one).

“Stay thirsty, my friends,” says the Most Interesting Man in the World (“The Most Interesting Man”).

From YouTube: APA

Creator Name if known or available (Creator). Poster name (Poster). (Date it was posted).  Title of the clip
[Video]Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/theurl.

Example:

MolsonCoors (Creator). needmedaily (Poster). (2009, June 18).  The most interesting man in the world: People hang on his every word, even the prepositions [Video] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA&feature=related.

And the in-text citation would look like this:

“Stay thirsty, my friends,” says the Most Interesting Man in the World (MolsonCoors, 2009).

And there you have it.  For tricky citation issues like this sometimes you just have to cobble together what you can from the information you have and make it look as similar as possible to the established guidelines.  As such, you might find other possibilities on the themes provided above, but as long as you include as much information as possible in an establish format, you should be good to go.

Good luck, and stay thirsty.

Additional Resource:

http://www.library.illinois.edu/learn/tutorials/apa.html