Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stupid advertising?

There was a post on the Tom Peters blog (link to blog post) a while back on what is called 'Badvertising', or amateur and possibly stupid advertising (is there any other kind? ;)

Here is the post in its entirety:
The Ameritrade TV spot opens with a 15 year old girl coming into the room to ask her dad for money for some new jeans. Dad asks about the jeans, and as he hears about them, his investment antennae go up. "What kind of jeans?" She tells him the name of the brand. "Are they designer jeans?" "Yes," answers the daughter. "Are they popular?" "Everybody's got them." "Everybody's got them?" "Yep."
Dad's brow furrows. He sits down on the couch and opens his laptop. Asks his daughter the name of the jeans again. Buys 100 shares. Sits back looking satisfied. She then, predictably, has to remind him to give her the money to buy a pair of the jeans. Cute.
Isn't this just the problem with amatuer online investing, that by the time "everybody" has bought the jeans a ton of vigilant investors will have bought the stock, and the poor Ameritrade customer will have to buy high and sell low? Doesn't this look like it is advertising designed by an amateur investor?

The post evidently elicited diverse reactions - as you can gauge from the number of comments posted there.

Something for the current students to ask their marketing/advertising faculty? :-)

A similar example of idiotic advertising that came to my mind was:
- E*Trade - this was popular during the dot-com boom days in the US. This cubicle dweller sees his stock portfolio, consisting of a single stock, zoom by several hundred percent, possibly making him a millionaire. He rushes to his boss' office, calling him the choicest of names. He rushes back to his cube, only to find the stock has tanked as fast as it went up. Now, shouldn't the genius have FIRST sold the stock???

A particularly egregious example (or two) were the Aamir Khan ad where he claims the standard of Coca Cola is the same, all over the world. The subtext is that Coke in India does not have pesticides. Now this claim is false, as the testing done by the parliamentary committee found levels of pesticides far in excess of what were claimed. The other example is Rani Mukherjee who claims that people should stop breathing because the air is full of germs. The message here being that all the hullaballoo about Coke and Limca and other soft drinks being laced with pesticides and other pollutants is just hear-say and not based on fact.


Yaniv said...

And what is this new crap about "Piyo to sar utha ke". What about people who drink with straws?

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