Marketing & Media: Good vs Bad

I’ll cut to the chase. Most commercials, ads, movies, music, games, etc. that you’re exposed to in your lifetime will just simply not be very good. Why? Because it’s difficult to be original. And once someone does do something great and original, many clones will follow and it will become a worn out fad that’s exploited and distorted, losing its original charm.

Specifically, what sparked this post is my extreme irritation with about 90% of commercials. That might sound funny, because who likes commercials in the first place, right? Well, if you watch TV often, commercials are unavoidable (and some of us probably have our guilty pleasure favorites anyways).

The stations that run your favorite shows couldn’t continue to fund them without ads. So, since we more or less have to put up with commercials and ads plastered on every street corner of our lives anyways, wouldn’t you rather not be constantly lied to and insulted by them? I’m sick of false and misleading advertising. I’ve created a poll about this here to find out what you think.

Haven’t you ever found it curious that you see maybe five movie trailers all claiming to be the “Movie of the Year” only three months into the year? I once read they get away with this by hiring someone “secretly”, a critic of sorts to say such things, where they can then quote them, so they won’t actually be making the statement themselves.

Another absurd example would be the commercials or infomercials that have countdowns to the time left to call in order to get a “deal” or a meter running with the first hundred callers getting a “special or exclusive deal”. These methods are out-dated, deceiving, and just plain insulting.

It’s insulting because any intelligent person after seeing the same commercial three times over a span of three weeks should realize:

Wait a minute; it doesn’t matter when I call; there is no deal; that’s just the price; what a crock; the timer is just a gimmick to create a sense of urgency.

Basically, what I hear these companies saying to us is:

You’re stupid. Give us your money.

Keep in mind that I’m of course not the intended target demographic, being a younger tech-savvy person with a marketing-orientated mind. Sadly, but true, they’re looking to take advantage of certain people very specifically. Sometimes, the lonely, depressed, generous, or elderly are prime targets to promote this junk to, with promises of bettering your life or making a loved one happy with a great gift.

I’m not saying businesses are bad for trying to make money, of course not. We are all trying to make money and have financial stability. But, it drives me crazy when businesses try and pretend like they’re just trying to help you, but oh no, having to receive funding is just an unfortunate necessity and it would be completely free if they could help it.

I trust companies that give it to you straight, that show you exactly what they’re selling and show the price right upfront, not buried at the very end with hidden fees.

So, here it is in a nutshell:

Marketing

Lies + Fluff = Bad

Honesty + Simplicity = Good

I was unable to find the video, but one of the most impressive and effective commercials I’ve ever seen was a commercial for Buy.com. The screen starts completely black and silent. It immediately grabs your attention, because you’re thinking:

Did the cable just go out? Was there a glitch at the station?

Then, a very subtle bass sound faded in, shortly followed by “Buy.com” in bold, white letters, holding for one to two seconds, done. It was beautiful.

Another strong contender that comes to mind are the new Reese’s Pieces fifteen second spots.