You know, it’s truly ironic that I’m about to rant about advertising (that’s your warning of an upcoming rant, by the way), because as we speak, an editor of a Holistic Networker type of magazine (although, sans clairvoyants, palm readers, and tarot practitioners, ya know?) is tweaking the totally-cool design of our first ad, to be published in next month’s issue. But see, there’s a such thing as dignified advertising, and then there’s Badvertising.
Badvertising is when Pandora (the web-based music genome project, with customizable radio stations) had a perfectly good product (uninterrupted music, supported by ads on their website that were pictorial in nature only) decided to start splicing audio commercials between songs.
Badvertising is when I’m so out of touch that I don’t even know what my local TV channels or major radio stations are, and yet I still encounter Austin or Houston One Day Deal ads so often I’m tiring of them quickly.
Seriously, as a side note – why in the hell advertise those things in San Antonio? Do they honestly think I’m driving to Austin (an hour and a half away) or Houston (at least 2 and a half hours away) just to patronize some business I don’t know with money I don’t have? We have everything we want right here in our own town. 80% off coupon or no, we’d spend more in gas to get there. Not to mention time. It’s just not worth it.
So my question to the geniuses behind that move, why bother?
Badvertising is when the checker at the grocery store has to ask me if I want some Brand Name toothpaste today before they can tell me my total bill. Or whatever else they’ve got a small bin full of that they’ve been forced to try and sell. I don’t need the cashier of the golldang supermarket trying to upsell me. That’s what New York & Company is for, and one of the many reasons I no longer shop there. I don’t have quite as much of a choice in terms of grocery stores. H-E-B, awesome as they otherwise are, Owns The World around here.
Badvertising is when the ad covers the entire vehicle. And the vehicles themselves even look ridiculous – think Hummer H2s, Scions, Cubes, and others. I’m sure they’d plaster a full ad spread across a Mini Cooper or a Smart Car, too, but they’re not big enough to have enough real estate to accommodate such an ad.
Badvertising is when Susan G Komen (the breast cancer fundraising–I mean awareness group, responsible for the fact that everything can now be found in pink and conveniently, it will cost you more than the same item in any other color) decided to partner with KFC.
Let’s take “chicken” (in the theoretical sense of the word), manipulated with hormones, preserved with sulfites, breaded in gluten, flavor-enhanced (hey they need all the help they can get) with neurotoxic MSG, and deep fried in a trans-fat vat, and team up with a cancer-fighting group. Yeah.
Badvertising is when Amazon tries to sell you sets of books for exactly as much as the 2 cost separately. Seriously, if you’re going to try and sell me more and you’re going to present it as a set, you’ve got to cut some kind of deal. Otherwise, there’s no incentive.
Badvertising is when they saturate you with commercials, sort of like a heavy rotation. I swear if I hear that “Lollipop” song ever again I’ll tar and feather someone. Dell, here’s looking at you. Your attempt to be a hip Apple copycat is transparent.
Badvertising is when you push the “Guide” button on your satellite remote and you now have a banner ad across the bottom, whereas up until recently, you didn’t. And if that’s not bad enough, picking a channel to watch often yields a show where, even when not on a commercial break, the bottom one-third of the screen is full of animated notices for upcoming shows, and other advertising.
Badvertising is the iPhone app situation we have now, where the apps have more and more ads. Worse yet is when you pay for an app, only to be hit with more advertising after paying!
Don’t get me started on the crap on the back of supermarket receipts or the ads in shopping carts, bathroom stalls, or across a grocery store floor…
I promise that even when our ads become more widespread and common, we will not be evil.