Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Advertising isn't rocket science, but........

It may all depend on what you're interest is, but the vast majority of commercials these days tend to be designed for the viewers with lower than normal IQ's. It just happens that way.

Take for example GEICO's newest corporate mascot, "The Money You Could be Saving With GEICO". A stack of cash with plastic eyeballs sitting atop of it. The latest commercials would have you believe it can operate a cell phone or throw a basketball. Utter balderdash! If GEICO thinks this inanimate object can be groomed as the successor to the gecko, they're obviously on something. Not on to something, mind you, but on something. I think you get my drift.

It's nice to be entertained and informed at the same time. Time Warner Cable hired actor Mike O'Malley (ex-Yes, Dear) a year ago to be their spokesman, representing the average consumer. The ads can be a little annoying at times, but it's a perfect counterpoint to the comic ads that DirecTV has been running with a generic cable company boardroom debating the merits of satellite vs. cable. That gets old in a hurry. Miller beer made a star out of an otherwise obscure actor named Windell Middlebrooks with their "common sense" series of spots, now in its 3rd season. Middlebrooks has since parlayed this gig into a recurring role on Disney Channel's Suite Life On Deck as a security guard, and is working on a new series for CBS.

Conversely, Bud Light's "Drinkability" spots have already jumped the shark with the magic marker gimmick ads. Making things worse is a spot that is set in another boardroom where a hip junior executive is tossed out of a sixth floor window (I think), complete with chair, fortunate for a nearby tree to break his fall, just because he suggested---jokingly, he'd claim at the end of the spot---that the beer be taken out of the corporate budget. If you don't drink beer (and I don't), you might find this morally offensive on a number of levels.

Speaking of offensive, that brings us to local advertisers like the Fuccillo Auto Group. Billy Fuccillo has gotten heat, at least if you go by The Record's "Sound Off" column, but I haven't seen a guy this intense, aggressive, and enthusiastic about promoting his local business since those legendary Crazy Eddie ads in New York back in the day. "Huge", I guess, is the new "insane".

On the average, you have 30 seconds to a minute to sell your product and get your message across. You don't want to bombard your prospective customers with mixed messages and lots of noise. Unfortunately, noise, like sex, sells. It's a sorry, sad truth of this generation. How else to catch someone's attention and divert it from their other interests (i.e. video games)?


Samuel Wilson said...

Perhaps a clip of this Fuccillo person would make your point more effectively. Once the wider blogosphere sees his conniption fits, a sort of star might be born.

hobbyfan said...

We'll have to work on that sometime, Sammy. Billy Fuccillo, side by side with the legend that is Crazy Eddie. That would destroy the senses, wouldn't it now?