Saturday, January 15, 2005

Advertising works!

Companies I will never do business with because of their advertising campaigns:

1. Geico Insurance. Sure the little gecko ads were cute at first. But enough, already. They now serve the purpose of exercising my willpower limits. Someday I’m going to lose and there will be a shoe inside my television set.

2. Progressive Insurance. Face it. These ads are just downright annoying as hell. My whole body goes into a massive cringe every time I hear that guy go “NOOOOO!”.

3. Texan Eye Mart. For some time now they’ve run an ad in the Sunday newspaper that employs an extra half sheet attached to the color comics section. They’ve finally made this a perforated sheet that can be easily torn off, but many years of removing the thing weekly have built up an tremendous level of ill feeling toward the company.

4. Likewise, the Stanley Steamer carpet cleaning service that for some time ran an ad on a half-sheet wrap around on the Sunday TV magazine.

5. Sylvan Learning Centers. Now granted I don’t have kids, so it’s not a company I would be doing business with anyway. But the level of schmaltz that gets forced down your throat when you’re too lazy to reach for the remote is as effective as a dose of ipecac. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is also guilty of this technique, but I cut them some slack because of the tremendous contributions they make to genealogists. (I’m not above making concessions when it’s to my advantage.)

I know the theory is that we will remember the name and forget the ads when we are out there shopping around. That’s probably true to some extent. (I’m sure I’ve voted for politicians I would have no use for if I knew anything other than I had heard their name before when I had never heard of their opponent.) However, sometimes advertising works to make me remember who I’m never going to call, simply because they’ve annoyed me to the point of seeking vengeance in any small way I can manage.

One positive aspect of these ads is that my right hand dexterity is in pretty good shape – at least the finger that operates the surf button on my remote and my ability to rip the flaps off the newspaper and score 2 points when I throw them at the trashcan.

Now back to our program, already in progress.

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