It’s a constant fog; the signs, logos, colors, and slogans create visual white noise EVERYWHERE.
We’ve all learned to accept a certain level of invasion by these ads. My computer monitor says “Dell” at the bottom. An email from a vendor ends with his company’s logo and slogan in his autosignature. It’s rare that I will look at one of these more innocuous placements and think, “I really don’t like this company”, or “I would never buy something from them”.
Make a bad decision in your TV ad, however, and you might lose me for life. Here’s my current list, compiled from a couple hours of TV watching this weekend.
1. Most car dealerships. Yeah, it’s cliché, but I have to seriously ask: what in the HELL makes you think your commercial makes me want to buy a car? Your low budget, poorly-sung jingles (Bob Sight Independence Kia…no BS!)? Your claims that you sell more Fords than anyone in town (why does that matter to me)? Your cocky, douchey salesperson in the commercial who is the vinegar-scented embodiment of why everyone hates shopping for a car?
2. Homestead Financial. Yep, 800-Granny-8. My grandmother is not old enough to sound like that crabby broad, but she is not on the list of people I would ask for mortgage advice. Why? She hasn’t shopped for one in nearly 40 years. But that’s beside the point. I’m convinced that the company requested a toll free number, got something random, then looked at their phone to see what they could spell. Once they came up with “Granny”, they decided that would be their whole marketing campaign.
3. Hanes (at least their underwear). They are currently running ads with Michael Jordan and…Charlie Sheen at a country club discussing boxer briefs. The problem? I associate Charlie Sheen with syphilis and therefore don’t want to associate my underwear with his chancres.
4. Nikon. Would anyone buy anything from Ashton Kutcher? I mean, really?
5. FreeScore.com. Okay, this has more to do with my disappointment in Ben Stein for stooping to this level. He’s an economist who has a personal finance column. I respect the majority of what he has to say. But this is just a cash grab. FreeScore is another in the line of “free” credit report websites. The catch? You have to sign up for monthly monitoring of your credit report, which costs about $10 a month. And it’s a pain in the ass to cancel. It’s disappointing because there is a government-mandated, no-strings-attached, FREE credit report website at annualcreditreport.com. I’m sure Ben knows about it.