Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What's With All of the Strange Ads?

Dear friends, I must confess to feeling old, or at least out of place.  What's been ailing me is an increasing trend towards simple strangeness in broadcast advertising.  What was once the preserve of sophomoric beer advertisers has spread to almost every corner.  You name it: drug ads that are either mildly disgustic or barmy; telecomm ads that seem cut for deranged lunatic consumption; burger chains featuring grown men dressed as children; twisted house ads -- there is a heavy undercurrent of weirdness.

I find it off putting.  I don't think that I'm alone.

Once upon a time advertisers touted the advantages of their offering, or at worst rapped the competition.  The target audience was firmly kept in mind and view and they seemed like pretty normal target populations at that.

Nowadays the perceived target demographic is "people with whom I can't possibly identify" and I say that gently.

It is time to get back on track.  Focus on the product or service.  Tell its story.  Demonstrate why we, the audience, should want or need it.  Leave out the weirdos.  Drop the creepy talking puppets and CGI confections.  Avoid the nonsense.

Bottom Line:  Are your ads losing their edge and displaying qualities that might disturb an audience?  Are cute and clever being morphed into strange and stupid?  The turn of the new year is a great time to reset and follow the time honored advertising maxims.