Not so nice marketing


Advertising is big business. Companies spend a lot of money on advertising to promote their products and services. You need look no further than the advertising presented during Super Bowls each year. This year ads during the big game sold for around $5 million for a 30 second spot. Big money indeed. Here’s a link if you’re interesting in reading further as this post isn’t really about how much ads cost, rather it serves as a nice introduction on how important advertising is (Sporting News article). Should we be surprised then, when advertising campaigns pit one soft drink against another and one truck manufacturer against their competition?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Most campaigns strive to educate the public about a product or service. They tell us why you need it, what it can do for you and even how to use it.

Then we have ad campaigns that literally make fun of another company and their offerings. Currently, I’m familiar with at least three different examples, but they will remain unnamed. They involve a local jeweler, a local mortgage company and a local web design & development (advertising agency). These are specifically radio spots and on the station I listen to they are major advertisers.

The jeweler

  • mimics the voice in the competitor’s ad as well as take jabs at their trademark cuts and ad campaigns
  • leads the listener to believe that they are getting ripped off if they shop at the competitor’s stores

Mortgage company

  • in their effort to compare themselves with their competitors they use a rhymed word to reference the competitor and in one case it sounds derogatory, even though it’s not a real word.
  • lumps all financial institutions in with banks that charge high closing costs, perhaps this is picky, but it seems to me that it’s piling on

Web development/advertising company

  • these ads are extremely creative and at one time compared their competitors to kittens (meow)
  • they also talk down certain web strategies that are actually beneficial to some organizations

So, why this post? It seems that as our society grows more and more adversarial that advertising is as well. In fact, as standards for language devolve, advertising is following suit as well. There’s a local home/business improvement company that uses a four-letter word in their closing pitch. On one of the music apps I use there’s an advertiser that uses a bleeped “f-bomb” in their spot.

For the ads that I can, I turn off the radio and count to 60 and turn it back on. I don’t like any of the aforementioned methods of advertising and won’t listen to them if I’m able to turn them off.

So, as we write posts on our sites, in social media and even in advertising campaigns. Those kind of ads turn me off, so I turn my radio off. To me it’s juvenile and absolutely unnecessary. That’s my 2 cents. What do you think?

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