Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ad Sense

     I want to compare what I consider some good ads with some of what I consider bad ads, since most of our lives are spent looking at or listening to advertisements.  Let's start with a bold declarative statement.
     Boost Mobile has never had a good commercial.  Ever.  Like, I've been seeing a bunch of them lately, and each one is worse than the last.  Would you like to know why they are so amazingly bad?  Let me count the ways.  First of all, they have nothing to do with cell phones, communications, or anything remotely related to anything like that.  I am not even sure if there is a cell phone - that's a mobile phone for those of you in Englandland - in any of the commercials.  There are always just poor actors and even more poorly written scripts that confuse and sort of anger me.  The last one had Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, and something resembling the 1985 Chicago Bears doing a knockoff of their music video and song they did, which I have spent the last 24 years trying desperately to forget.  There was another one with a kid dressed as a dog and a woman dressed in the throw rug from my piano teacher's house.  What the f@*^'s with that?
      I guess the problem with the commercial is not so much that it doesn't have anything to do with cell phones, because in a little bit I am going to tell you about a series of commercials I like that have nothing to do with what they are pitching.  I guess the reason I dislike them so is because they are a complete waste of my time, and a complete waste of someone's money, and they are so unbelieveably stupid in every way.  They don't even make me think about Boost Mobile or any of their services, they just make me think about what I have to do to not have to see that again.
     I do, however, love the Liberty Mutual Commercials where one person does something small but nice, and then someone else sees that random act of kindness and it inspires them to do something nice themselves, and so on and so forth.  Then eventually it comes around in like a big circle to back where it started and that's the end of the commercial.  While this is happening, some music with like a clarinet or something is playing and Dennis Haysbert is talking about integrity and helping, but suspiciously not about how much the insurance costs.  Anyway, there is a series of these commercials and I like them because it's nice to see people being kind to one another, and I like clarinets, and something about them makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
     So I guess that means they are successful commercials.  Well, maybe not because I am not buying any insurance.  But I am feeling all warm and fuzzy so that is a good start I suppose.  I guess that I am just a fan of that whole Pay It Forward/Bump Experiment sort of thing and so that's why I have a soft spot for them, I don't know.  But they are at least a bit more thought out than the trash Boost Mobile is putting out there. 
     And there is something to be said for putting some thinking into what you are using to represent yourself.  The Boost Mobile folks have paid umpteen thousands of dollars for some washed up NFL-ers to sing a song about something and make fools out of themselves while the folks over at Liberty Mutual look wonderful and wholesome.  Which sort of image would you want to be putting out there if you were vying for an increasingly shrinking available pool of people's money?  I am going to side with the people helping people side on this one.  Boost, you can have the cheesy gimmicks. 

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