When advertising goes through the motions

17 Jul

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good rant on the Copeland blog, so let me sound off on laziness in our own biz.

Don’t ad agencies just have themselves to blame for the fact that clients are starting to ask consumers to write the ads?

Example: how many commercials have you seen that showed some hapless fool doing something ridiculous, such as cleaning the floor with his tongue, or pouring a glass of ice water on her eyeballs, or stuffing Bounce dryer sheets up his nose…before the predictable pay-off line:

There’s an easier way to…(get rid of your coffee-breath; refresh dry eyes; enjoy that just-washed smell).

These ads, replicated every year by the hundreds, are the sound of the ad industry yawning, stretching and going back to sleep.

Who’s writing this stuff? Do they all live in caves where there is no television or Internet or sense of shame?

Got an ad laziness rant? Share your pain here!

4 Responses to “When advertising goes through the motions”

  1. Shane July 19, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Two print ad techniques that irk me are:

    headlines with crossed out words and a “hand-written” word replacing it. Awkward attempt, I think, to have two headlines in one, or spoon-feed a play on words.

    ads that label objects with a big arrow showing what each thing represents. I think if people won’t get it without the labels, the concept isn’t clear enough or the headline needs to work harder.

  2. dougbrowncreative July 19, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Ouch. Or how about commercials that have the the business’s logo up for the entire duration, like some fly in the corner of the screen that keeps distracting you from the spot. Oh! That’s the point! I never thought of that before. The logo is such an awesome selling point.
    What it tells you is that there is either insufficient tie-in between the idea and the business (common) or a complete lack of faith in the ability of the ad to sell the product. Either way, it’s a stinker of a tactic.

  3. tom July 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Using achingly clichéd innuendo. Latest example on a bus ad.

    Women over 50 are doing it regularly!
    strap: Getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer!

    Seriously? You have an important and emotive topic to raise awareness for and the best solution is schoolboy innuendo? You should be shot. (The agency, not women over 50)
    And ads with bumbling menfolk ‘hilariously’ failing at simple household chores. Oh look, he’s trying to iron his shirt after putting it on!
    Admittedly these are related to the type of ads you’re talking about in this post Doug, but as a sub category they warrant a mention.

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