Friday, May 23, 2008

I Don’t Care What Your Thumbs Think

Lately, there seems to be a run-on of TV and radio commercials featuring objects brought to life. Some of these are so ridiculous I can’t believe they passed client approval. It started with a Stop & Shop supermarket commercial where the products themselves told listeners about their new low prices. More recently, I’ve heard a radio commercial where the letters “H” and “R” (as in human resources) introduce themselves. In another commercial, a guy stops furiously texting to talk to his “Mr. and Mrs. Thumb”.

Perhaps the creators of these types of commercials saw the genuinely sincere and funny success of “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” TV commercials and said, “hey, this is a great idea,” and thought automatically that consumers would gravitate to other objects coming to life. Perhaps they’re one of those people who give their private parts names and thought they could translate that idea into a winning ad.

They were wrong. They forgot the part where the creative has to be interesting and unique and the message has to offer value. After all, they are speaking to adults, not kids who will laugh at anything. They also forgot they need to be compelling enough to get these adults to open their wallets.

To me, these types of commercials seem like a copout – a lazy “let’s put anything on the air” attitude from people who have forgotten everything they learned in college or from the leaders of the industry. Or perhaps they simply had a hangover that day. Who knows.

But in today’s market, where consumers are successfully skipping over, fast forwarding through or simply ignoring ads, who can afford to be anything less than exceptional? Let’s retire these slapstick attempts at garnering attention and get back to some real quality creative. I promise I’ll pay attention if you give something worth paying attention to.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.