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Bad advertising
Posted: 11 September 2012 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I consider myself to be a developing skeptical thinker, and sometimes I think that I get things right. Which makes me aggrivated when I see commercials that seem to depend on the lack of attention of it’s viewers to sell a product.

Consider this TV commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_JRuY6WXpM

Starts out fine . . . Brian Urlacher is cool, gives some numbers on DirecTV stuff which I assume are accurate (otherwise legal liability?) but then the commercial falls flat on it’s face. The XFinity details have absolutely no matching numbers to show whether it’s a better or a worse deal than DirecTV for sports; it just gives very general outlines of it’s sports programming, with emphasis on college football.

Um, what?

Your own argument doesn’t even make sense, commercial. It boils down to: “DirecTV costs a lot, but XFinity has cool programming.” Um, so? So does DirecTV. Maybe it’s suppsed to be implied that by stating the things the way it does, that Xfinity is cheaper (even though it doesn’t say so) or that DirecTV has worse programming (which it also doesn’t actually say).

Argh.

Too much stupid.

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Posted: 11 September 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, ads and commercial are not usually supposed to clearly inform or educate. With the hundreds (or even thousands) of ads we see daily, and with the 30 seconds a TV commercial has to get its message across, what you do is “make it memorable.” Ads and commercials are usually stupid, because they are intended to be stupid. Being stupid stands out. It’s kinda like that Oscar Wilde’s aphorism, where he says that, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Xfinity is taking the chance here that people will talk about it as being stupid, but at least they will, well, talk about it. They gotcha, Andrew!  grin

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Posted: 11 September 2012 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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George - 11 September 2012 11:09 AM

Xfinity is taking the chance here that people will talk about it as being stupid, but at least they will, well, talk about it. They gotcha, Andrew!  grin

No, I think that the tone of the commercial does not play to that.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I stopped spending any significant amount of time watching commercial TV many years ago.  I found it to be boring and annoying once I was away from the culture of television for a while.  I think if one watches much television a habit develops of suspending disbelief, the pleasure of watching comes from the action and charisma of the characters, but not from the exploration of ideas.  Reality and coherence no longer appear to be very necessary for viewing pleasure. This may not be entirely true for the educational channels that are available now, but I have other things to do than spend spend much time checking them out.

Ads, in particular, use action and charisma to sell the product.  I believe that by dulling the viewers sense of disbelief ads actually teach people to think badly.  How could you sell fast food on it’s true merits?  I suppose fashion, or style is art, but because the consumer has to be primed to buy the next article of clothing, car, or home furnishing, before the original is worn out, ads won’t trumpet the fact that the consumer will look good in this fashion in five years or that the product is particularly durable.  Appeals to status also are a huge part of advertising. 

I suppose, if dissatisfaction, cheap flimsy goods and rampant consumption of resources, is good for the planet and the race, this is a valid way of presenting people with opportunities and the intellectual tools to use their resources to acquire the “good life”, (in a philosophical sense). I’m just becoming a curmudgeon.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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At least 1/3rd of the reason I bought a VCR in the 80s was to skip TV commercials.  1/2 the reason was Star Trek: The Next Generation started.  VHS tapes were $10 back then.  LOL

I don’t watch sports so I would hardly think about that commercial. 

What I found weird at one job is most people did not use their VCRs to skip commercials.  One woman with a masters degree said she didn’t know how to record and just used it to play rented movies.

psik

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Posted: 12 September 2012 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I don’t like deceptive or annoying commercials. The old VCRs of the 80’s relied on volume differences between commercials and shows. People complain though and laws in the regulatory arenas keep trying to stop them but they keep coming back every so often. In Canada, television stations must have been lifted off their restrictions a few years ago because just recently we had to re-enact a new law again to ban the volume blasting on commercials. When it was announced earlier this year that our governing bodies demanded that the stations had to stop this tactic by September 1, this year, they became even more ignorant and blasted the volumes even more higher than usual until September. It was frustrating having to keep turning down the blast on a commercial…especially when you live in an apartment at nights being concerned about other residents.

I also think that the tiny writing that is meant to be waivers (the asterisks, as some call it) is unjust. The laws in both Canada and the U.S. allow them to print them in such unreadable print that even on a large screen would be hard to read. On top of that, for some, like the car commercials, there is way too much data to read and they only flash the writing for a second or so, usually with colors comparable to the background making it that much more difficult to read.

I think a case should be made for the public that even Eula’s online through programs and businesses be invalidated on the basis of the tactics of making them absolutely ubiquitous, essential, and unavoidable to the public to access services without. People naturally do not read nor can or should be expected to read all Eula’s reasonably given the limited time they have and the extent to which some of the Eula’s go to to exhaust the reader.

The opinions of this post may or may not actually reflect the position of the author of this post. If there is any disagreement between this post and the real authentic author of this post, the latter shall prevail. No animals were harmed during the making of this post.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Here’s another one, although I can’t find a youtube clip of the commercial itself. The slogan is “You Wouldn’t Let Your Doctor Do Your Job. Why Are You Doing His?” And the commercial goes on to show some doctor playing a violin comically badly in a major recital, then goes on to advertise some drugs.

First of all, there are doctors out there who happen to be pretty decent musicians.

Second of all, there are some musicians out there who are pretty decent doctors.

Third of all, this is a false dichotomy. My responsibility for my health is not equal in importance to my doctor’s responsibility for their musicianship. Everyone has a vested intersest in understanding what they can about their health.

Fourth of all, this is the exact attitude that enables quacks to rip people off.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I note that another version of the same commercial I reference above is out now, with the violinist being replaced by a baseball pitcher.

Alas, the exact same problems are there. Either people are really dense and just don’t get it, or the company who paid for the commercials has a disconnect between the exposure of the commercials and changes in sales.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Gosh, I may be enjoying this. grin

Here’s another one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJAG4Lgk48

This commercial is for Farmer’s Insurance, and presents a metaphor of directing a person through a maze as helping a person through complicated insurance procedures. I actually think that the commercial proceeds fine - it seems to be an apt metaphor, is easy to understand, visually looks clear, in general, not too bad.

Until, toward the end, the narrating dude in glasses and the dude directing the dude in the maze have this short exchange:

“That’s a new maze record!”
“Really?”
“I have no idea; we don’t keep track of that kind of stuff.”
[under his breath] “Well, you should.”

Yes, well, you should, Farmer’s Insurance. The main claim for this commercial is that they do help people with their options, and if this maze metaphor represents how they actually do business, it means that they don’t give a damn about whether their policies actually help their customers or not.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and this is their own commercial!

hmmm

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Posted: 21 September 2012 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Another rant:

I get irritated by political ads, and they make me want to change the channel or turn the TV off. I hope that the various networks get paid well for airing them. But, why of why do so many of them think that they can covey an effective message when they deliberately disguise who is paying for the ads?

Ads from the two major political parties I can follow, at least, and understand where they’re coming from because they say exactly that they are paid for by the ‘Democratic National Committee’ or some like title. But when the ad is paid for by ‘Citizens for Truth’ or ‘People for Low Taxes’ who the hell is it? I don’t care if their commercial is a major philosophical innovation on the order of Sun Tzu’s Art Of War, I can’t tell if the source is trustworthy or not if I have no idea who they are.

They might as well have the commercial say ‘The economy sucks because President Obama tanked it. Paid for by My Ass Is Chapped’ and it wouldn’t be any different.

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Posted: 22 September 2012 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I am starting to get 3 or 4 sales calls per day from cranks trying to convince me to give them my hard earned money. I’m glad I have caller ID and can ignore the calls, but I am on the do not call list, I renew every year or two to make sure I stay on it, but there have been more and more flagrant violations of the laws, and it is VERY annoying. Is anyone else getting these calls, do any of you have a solution? They start at 8am and go on until nearly 10pm….even though I never answer the phone. Most are robocalls—illegal, but a few have real people at the other end. I suspect asking them not to call will not work, and may actually bring on even MORE calls.

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Posted: 22 September 2012 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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psikeyhackr - 12 September 2012 09:32 AM

At least 1/3rd of the reason I bought a VCR in the 80s was to skip TV commercials.  1/2 the reason was Star Trek: The Next Generation started.  VHS tapes were $10 back then.  LOL…

psik

I bet that I know what the remaining 1/6th reason was.  (Though I could be projecting.)  smile

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Posted: 22 September 2012 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I agree that the do not call list almost always ignored.  I have an answering machine on 24 hours a day, and it’s fascinating how many times the phone rings, the answerimg message starts and there’s a hang up.  The ones that annoy me are those who talk anyway and say something like, “To learn more about——, press one; to be taken of of our call list, press two.  Of course, by the time I hear it, a few hours later, the caller is long gone.

Occam

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Posted: 25 September 2012 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 21 September 2012 09:16 PM

Another rant:

I get irritated by political ads, and they make me want to change the channel or turn the TV off. I hope that the various networks get paid well for airing them. But, why of why do so many of them think that they can covey an effective message when they deliberately disguise who is paying for the ads?

The incumbent representative for our district is a Democrat, but since I live in a very conservative area of Georgia, he has to appeal to conservatives.  The attack ads against him claim that he supports the President 85% of the time (which would actually encourage me to vote FOR him).  But in his OWN ads he denies this, claims he voted AGAINST the health care bill 12 times, and claims he votes with the Republican leadership more than half the time (which would encourage me to vote AGAINST him).  I’m confused!  :(

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Posted: 25 September 2012 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Commercials are supposed to entertain and catch your attention.  Conveying information about the product is secondary.  The absolute worst example I can think of is an ad campaign for Quiznos subs several years ago.  The commercials featured these little mascots, which were supposed to be funny and cute, but to me they looked like rabid rats.  Absolute worst idea in the world for advertising FOOD!  I still won’t go to a Quiznos place!  Every time I see their signs, I remember that commercial and those rabid rats!

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Posted: 25 September 2012 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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TimB - 22 September 2012 12:21 PM
psikeyhackr - 12 September 2012 09:32 AM

At least 1/3rd of the reason I bought a VCR in the 80s was to skip TV commercials.  1/2 the reason was Star Trek: The Next Generation started.  VHS tapes were $10 back then.  LOL…

psik

I bet that I know what the remaining 1/6th reason was.  (Though I could be projecting.)  smile

So let’s hear it.

psik

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