30 May, 2008

Friday Ad Haiku: Advertiser Narcissism

"Call now!" "Buy it today!"

I hate it. That presumptious little throw-in at the backend of a call to action. It's the copywriter's crutch and/or the advertiser's folly. It means nothing and motivates no one--except maybe people who shouldn't be allowed to operate a phone unsupervised anyway. And it's an indication of a great problem: hubris. Too many advertisers think that whatever the audience has going on pales in comparison to the importance of their product.

Didn't they read Macbeth? Arrogance: bad.
Note to people selling products: The public does not care about you. They aren't thinking about you. And while you may live and breathe your product, they don't. Messages that assume they do only makes you look bad.

My two buffalo pennies: Communicate with your audience more humbly, more earnestly. Understand that they are not obligated to listen to you, much less act. Entertain them, give them something of value--make them want to pay attention. And stop operating on the assumption that people will drop everything to make a purchase; even in an on-demand society, that rarely happens. If you've got a great product, the consumers will come.

Never made it to
the funeral. I had to
order a Bowflex.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Approval by Committee

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