Advertising has got to be a tough line of work. Sure, there are some products that sell themselves. I think a first grader with some scissors and glue could probably put together a trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron that would get me into the theater. Ok. They didn’t even need a trailer.
But there are other products and services that make me wonder if the advertisers actively don’t want my business. For example, the radio station that I listen to for traffic updates on my way to work often plays a commercial for a company that specializes in workman’s compensation insurance. This exact same ad has been running for a few years now, and the jingle is TERRIBLE! It’s grating, the lyrics are stupid, and…well…I HATE IT! The first few notes have me scrambling to change the station. I have children. I have sat through every song Barney and The Disney Channel could throw at me. None of them have caused the negative reaction that I have to that commercial jingle.
Now I get that music tastes are a personal thing, but I have a hard time believing that I’m alone in this. It’s bad. It’s aggressively bad. And, as I said, it’s been running for years. Maybe the owner’s kid wrote it. I don’t know. I just have to wonder how many other people change the station like I do the moment that it starts.
The only TV campaign I can think of that’s comparable are the ads for Old Navy that seem to be aiming for camp (I guess) and end up somewhere in the neighborhood of “These are so awful and annoying that I refuse to set foot in your store.”
I can almost forgive the workman’s comp insurance commercial. It’s a local thing, and was probably produced for very little money. That may even be why it’s still on the air. Why spend the money to commission a new jingle when those funds could be better spent getting the commercial onto the radio over and over again?
The Old Navy ads are more confusing to me. This is their entire campaign. I did a little research, and people online have been complaining about their horrible commercials since at least 2004! This brings up two equally terrible possibilities:
1 – Old Navy and their advertising firm or firms are so tone deaf that they think these commercials are effective at portraying their brand in a positive light and getting people into their stores.
2 – There are people out there who actually like these ads. And there would have to be A LOT of them for Old Navy to continue making the wretched things for so long.
Okay. I lied. The second possibility is far more terrible than the first.
Who are these people? And what happened to them that made them believe these ads are entertaining?
On the bright side, at least they’re easily identifiable.
They are the ones wearing clothes from Old Navy.
- Alan Decker
@CmdrAJD on Twitter