Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Marketing 101

Not surprisingly, the airwaves (Do we still call them airwaves, even though we actually get TV via cable, phone lines, or satellite?) this past weekend were full of ads for all sorts of Presidents Day sales. It seemed a particularly good time to rush out and buy a new car, at least according to the commercials.

But I do have to wonder about what the guys who buy the ad spots are thinking some times. One commercial that ran during Hawaii Five-O last night talked about the hot pricing available and advised us to hurry down because "the sale ends February 21st." Well, considering that this ad ran at 10:30 p.m. on February 21st, how many customers did they think they were going to attract?


In a similar "you missed the boat" moment, Dunkin' Donuts continued to run a commercial for its heart-shaped Valentine's Day donuts on the 15th and 16th of February. Nothing says "I love you" like a two-day-old donut!


A radio commercial for a local restaurant proclaims that in February we honor two presidents, Washington and Lincoln. In it, the announcer says that rather than be like Washington "who threw money across the river," we should come down and take advantage of their special lunch and dinner pricing.

The legend that our first President once threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River was told to demonstrate his strength, not that he didn't care about saving money. (For the record, from the MountVernon.org website: The Potomac River is over a mile wide and even George Washington was not that good an athlete! Moreover, there were no silver dollars when Washington was a young man. His step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, reported in his memoirs that Washington once threw a piece of slate “about the size and shape of a dollar” across the Rappahanock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Rappahannock River at the site of the Washington family homestead today measures only 250 feet across, a substantial but perhaps not impossible distance to throw.)

I suppose if they were serving cherry pie for dessert, they would tell us to come in and eat it rather than chopping down trees like young George supposedly did.


Finally, what's the deal with the ads for the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas? Those are the ones that have slinky models wandering the halls with all sorts of animals -- kittens, puppies, bunnies, "was that a goat?" There's an older woman ("I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.") grabbing the butt of a studly young man and other, equally-odd-for-a-commercial visuals.

It looks more like a David Lynch-directed fever-dream from "Twin Peaks" than a commercial for a resort. Clearly, I'm not the intended audience, but I have to ask: Who is?

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