I always kind of took it for granted that I understood what people expected when they bought advertising space – whether on paper, on line or on television They were planning to sell someone something. Right?
Apparently that’s just a sidebar to some really, really clever word and picture play, prepared, I don’t doubt for a moment, by some very happy, fun-loving men and women, who enjoy their work – a lot.
In all honesty, I think some of the minute stories presented in the name of advertising, are among the cleverest of the digital world. There’s just one problem.
What are they selling?
Think about it. Are we supposed to rush out and buy a particular insurance because some cute little lizard-like thing thinks we should? Or maybe you lean toward a loud-mouthed duck? Neither explains to me why I should give up my already satisfactory insurance and run out to follow their lead.
Way back when I first started noticing that I didn’t even know what the product was, there was The Car That Zigged. A year into that ad, a friend who owned one of those car told me he had just recently figured out they were selling the car he already had. But, since neither of us was really enticed by zigging, we didn’t go out to buy it.
More currently, there is the ad of the Flying Car Doors. It starts with a young (of course,) ,pretty (of course) young woman standing beside her car which has apparently just had its door ripped off.
We go from that to a picture of a young man standing looking confused, watching car doors fly by. Did I mention he was pretty too? Well, he was.. Now back to the flying doors – which, by the way, are now white, even tho the original car that lost its doors was black. Apparently there was an epidemic of lost doors.
After several concentrated moments of watching the doors, we finally see a Cadillac – black again – which roars into the picture in all its normal grandeur. Granted, I know the name of the product. But then I knew that before I saw the ad. Now, however, I’ve lost respect for the company’s judgment
Oh, here’s a good one. You may really want to run out and buy one of these cars after watching one of them drive onto a beach, and four bikini-clad girls – gorgeous,( of course) – get out, giggling and tugging at their bikini bottoms, while the camera hones in on a ugly crab-like being that has apparently spent a part of the journey, nibbling on their butts,
Okay – so we have four itchy ladies and a VERY content crab creature. But would that sell you a car?
“But wait” – as the shill says – “There’s More!”
There is that series about a cow – a very big, nasty, not house-trained cow that shows up in milk commercials. I have seen him in the bathtub and on the table in the dining room., Even playing poker with the lads. Some of the pictures are cute – if unexplainable – but would they convince you that what you need when you find a cow in your home is a drink -of MILK?
For some reason, advertisers seem to gravitate toward stupid people. Usually a husband. Or they just adore pushy clients like those who take heartless advantage of helpful salesmen who don’t have enough common sense to say no when someone asks them to play the part of a football dummy or move a washing machine single handedly. That one is a favorite. The poor idiot guy tries his best to move the washing machine for the little lady, but when he ends up under it, she makes sure the machine is okay so she won’t have to sue him for dropping it. Again: WHAT? Why would (a) a man, however well intentioned – try to lift a washer, when he knows the best result he can expect is a hernia – or (b) Why would you, as a customer, ever ask someone to do such an impossible task as an inentive to buy their car?
Okay, I know these are not intended to portray real situations, but they ARE supposed to inspire me to run out and buy the product.
There are so many, too many, commercials interrupting my Facebook experience or my Big Bang joy, that I resent the fact that they don’t even seem to remember their purpose.
Get on board guys. Intelligent people buy your products. A little respect please.
Oh, right. There IS one more. And this one to really hard to believe. I don’t remember what was being sold. I think it’s about getting legal help in a lawsuit. But it goes like this:
“If you have recently suffered a heart attack or EVEN SUDDEN DEATH, you may be eligible for…



  1. My mom stopped buying Wisk because of their nonsensical “ring-around-the-collar” ads. And, although I liked the camel asking if anyone knew what day it was–at least the first hundred times I saw it–I did not feel a need to pursue the purchase of their insurance (I think it was an insurance ad?).

  2. Advertiserser have 60, 30 or sometimes 15 seconds to tell you about their product. We all know that it is virtually impossible to and would be incredibly boring to listen to someone showing a picture of their product while reading the specs. I LOVE advertising and I get that the ads are attention getters hoping that when you are ready to purchase a car you will think of the commercial with the hot babes and the car that drive so fast they rip the doors off of other cars or the funny camel when you want insurance or the grocery store stock clerk when you need to wipe your butt. Advertising isn’t always about the product. HOWEVER. If ten minutes after you saw the ad you forget who the company was, then the ad was a failure.

    Side note to the ad companies: if you are spending thousands of dollars on an ad, please use a grammar check. Nothing annoys me more that when the English language is misspoken. Rrrr

  3. Most of the advertising is silly, sometimes entertaining and most of the time giving TMI and I won’t buy their product because of their ridiculous advertisements. Again, I enjoyed your blog! Thanks

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