21 March 2011

But wait! There's more!!

Advertisements. We've all seen them. If you haven't seen an advertisement, you must have been living under a rock. Billboards, TV commercials, sidebars on the internet, broadcast radio, junk mail, sales, bargains, people standing on the side of the street waving signs, iPod and game pop-ups, very ill-formatted sheets posted on bulletin boards everywhere; there is constant input of advertisement after advertisement no matter where you go.

Now, I understand that advertising is a part of business, and a way to attract customers. However, you need not consistently shove it in their face like a pie for them to notice. Yes, I see the billboard every day I leave my neighborhood. I don't want to hear about it on my internet and in my mail and on the news and on commercials too. I go to this website every day. I see the same ad. I didn't click it the first time, or the 20th, or the 100th, so why would I click it now?

Every solitaire game I play on my iPod, whether I have wifi at the moment or not- Bing! Click here to download the app now!!.....Yes, I am going to postpone solitaire, so that I can download Bing (aka Bing.Is.Not.Google, look at the letters). I'm so desperate for that Bing application that I've been waiting for that advertisement so I can go download it right now!!! In fact, I'm so excited that I'll start the download now, even though I don't have wifi!!! One weight loss secret....I must know it!! If it's not exercise and diet, I'm all for it!!! Forget whatever it is, and go straight to ordering/downloading what is being advertised. Really? People fall for this? Surprisingly, yes.

Then they give you the option of opting out of ads---that is, if you pay extra. That just fuels more ads for the people who don't have the money to shell out for ad free games. WTF? They pay not to have them, so we have to be inundated with waves of BUY THIS! TRY THIS! THIS IS THE BEST!...it's almost sickening. Currently in another tab- Sunny D 100 Sunny Days Prize Giveaway! Do I really think I'll win? No. But some people will buy into it. They'll buy raffle tickets. They'll be suckered into anything....which just fans the fire.

Then..... there are the people who will fall into any ad. You're the 1,000th visitor! You get a prize!! (every time they go to the same site). How can they be the 1,000th visitor more than once? Preposterous. But hey, people are gullible, right? Or how about advertising a product that you're already using, one that's obsolete, out of stock, out of season, whatever. And those amazing deals? Read the fine print. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Honestly, I do believe that there is a purpose to ads to a certain extent. Putting your product out there for people to see DOES generate revenue, especially if your item becomes popular. However, companies need not mind rape us with advertisements for Coke or a new car every other commercial. I'm sorry, I can't afford your new cars, and I like my dependable Taurus anyways. If I get a different car, it'll be a trade-in for another used car. And Pepsi is better than coke, even though they don't make the kind I like anymore. I've already decided. Seeing a Coke commercial isn't going to change my mind. I already know what I like and don't like.

Some commercials aren't so bad. I like Geico's recent approach to commercials, like the woodchucks or the drill sergeant therapist above- they've taken a humorous approach, instead of an annoying, in your face, BUY ME BUY ME ad. Discreet yet visible, and catches your attention with humour. That's a great tactic.

And, though his obnoxious yelling often gave me a headache, I miss Billy Mays. He was amazing. I mean, if I can remember the guy's name, that means he was a recognisable figure, therefore a successful aid in advertising. Now they have this drab woman speaking....I don't care about OxiClean. Thanks, but no thanks. In tribute to Billy Mays, the Caps Lock button has been officially renamed the "Billy Mays mode".

Then there are the commercials that are completely unrelated to the item they are advertising. Those....just make no sense. Why use diversion away from the product you're trying to sell? Or make it some obscure message cloaked by things that the advertisers think are catchy? Then people wonder why their product tanks, or why their commercial campaign doesn't increase revenue.

Companies put out so much money to advertise their product, but their tactics are just odd. I'm not going to stop what I'm doing to call and buy your product, or download it in the middle of a good game of solitaire. If I already drink Diet Pepsi, which I'm sure EVERYONE has heard of, I'm not gonna change my mind no matter how many Coke commercials you show me.

I also find it hilarious, the commercials that insert a "But wait! There's more!" deal. You get TWO for the price of ONE!! (just pay extra shipping and handling). A $30 value for just $19.99!! In the end, you end up paying excessive amounts because you *think* you're getting a bargain, when you're really just spending more money, giving them fuel to create more ads.

My favorite parts of advertisements are the spoofs that people eventually make of different ads :D
For example, the snuggie parody:

Or the iPad (which is the butt of many a joke!!) parody:

I have to say, parodies are the most exciting result of ridiculous advertising. They give me so many things to laugh at! I could go on about the parodies, but that would just result in me watching parody after parody, and forgetting the purpose: to write a blog.

What brought this up is a recent movement in commercials that has resulted from a mandate that commercials can only be below a certain volume. They put a ceiling on it. So, in order to get your attention (and over-exaggerate), some companies will make their commercials so quiet that you have to turn it up to hear it. What's the purpose in that? There's no intrinsic OR extrinsic benefit to that!! Ah, the lengths a company will go to advertise their product. Now I wish I could get them to use that money to help pay my tuition. Think I have a good shot? I've had my rant for the day. I feel much better now.


Anonymous said...

You can write! You've got a rare talent. Unlike 99% of everybody, you are able to communicate - to say what you really mean in such a way that other people can understand it.

Font size. Look how the New York Times does it: http://tinyurl.com/4qq4tle

Washington Post uses different, but still readable, fonts: http://tinyurl.com/4jgrbvg

Colors. Kelly green on pumpkin is hard for me to read. There is not much contrast, and because they are close to opposites (red and green), they vibrate. The same green on white or a very pale yellow would look nice. The background needs to be toned down a bit in any case.

This is me, CC, by the way. I picked "Anonymous" for the profile because I don't know what the other ones are.

♥α§ђ£ε¥™♥ said...

Thanks for your comment CC
I was working on trying to format the blog so comments could be added, but it got late, so I left the background orange before going to bed. I was planning on changing the background :) But thanks for the tip. I also rushed to choose a font- I'm still deciding what will be best. As you can see, I had to ditch the old template to get comments to work, so I have to work everything out with the new one. There are still some changes yet to roll out :)

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