Monday, May 29, 2006

Advertising Nitwits

One of my favourite blogs at the moment is Overheard In New York. It's on my list at the right of the page here. Check it out of you want to laugh at the funny things people say.

Unfortunately I don't have very lemony fingers today (that sentence will make perfect sense to one other person on planet Earth), so I'm going to be lazy and post my latest Acid Tongue column. It's for the mag I used to work for. Weird seeing my name in there again. I don't think you need to have seen the offending (and offensive) advertisment to get the gist.

So I returned from overseas in a content frame of mind, my head filled with memories of things beautiful and wondrous, my inner aesthete and hedonist spooning each other in contented bliss. Then suddenly my mood of optimism and hope that the world really might be a shining paradise of jaw-dropping beauty... okay, I’m going to gag if I keep this up.

And speaking of gagging and spooning – how’s that new anti-smoking campaign, huh? Fucking hell, they’re at it again. The government and the ad industry spooning and murmuring sweet nothings and coming up with another way to squander millions (I think the NSW government threw almost two million at this baby). I’m not saying that gangrene is not an important problem or one which smokers shouldn’t be made aware of, but for Christ sake, target your audience will you. Like 75% of the Australian population, I don’t smoke. Like 100% of viewers confronted with this ad, I don’t want to watch it. Like everyone participating in the increasingly pointless brain massage that is telly-watching (gangrene foot fetishists aside), I hit the remote as soon as this abomination comes on. Result? Ineffective advertising.

Jesus, aren’t there schools of advertising? Aren’t there “gurus” enlightening advertising disciples about the Golden Rules Of Advertising? Aren’t there countless books available that teach advertising basics? What spotty geek came up with this idea? I can just imagine the ad pitch: “Whoa, dude! Let’s, like, totally gross everyone out with, like, manky toes ‘n shit. Awesome. We’ll have a close up of, like, The Foot Of Horror, and a doctor will draw a line where he’s going to totally amputate the dude’s leg. Man I am so going to win an award for this.”

And speaking of drawing the line, where do we draw the line with shock horror advertising? Increasingly graphic warnings don’t work, so the ante is upped. ‘Smoking is a health hazard’ didn’t work. The legions of puffers marched on. ‘Smoking kills’ didn’t work. ‘Smoking causes heart disease and lung cancer.’ Sorry, not good enough. Graphic pictures on the cigarette packets weren’t persuasive enough; still more people took up the habit. Now this bilge. What next? They’re a stubborn bunch, smokers. Unless they’re newly arrived Venusians, they know that smoking is a lethal habit, and it’s just retarded to make the rest of us suffer by springing shit like this on us whilst in the comfort of our own homes.

Gee it’s good to be back. Wait on... no it’s not.


1 comment:

bee vee vee said...

You see the Thai anti-smoking ones? There's like green cancerous lungs and rotten teeth and and old wrinkled lady but my favourite is the one where a man is smoking and skulls and ghosts are floating around in the background.

Cos if cancer doesn't scare you, b-grade horror effects might!