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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Creepy Dairy Queen Guy & Other Commercials So Bad I Have To Laugh

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There was a TV commercial on the other day for water. I'm guessing it's Aquafina, I can't find the ad. If I'm wrong, correct me. (Can't be that good of an ad to start with if I don't even remember who it's for. But anyway.)

A bunch of girls in sports uniforms are standing around on the grass. In front of them is a water cooler. Their gym teacher hands them a bunch of colored water (presumably sugar-water drinks). Somehow they decide that regular water is going to taste better than the colored water.

I watched that along with the family and we all had the same reaction: "What a stupid commercial!" They made the sugar water look so good, why would anyone have the plain?

It's just one of so many marketing fails I just can't believe anyone spends their money on.

Look at the Dairy Queen ads for Blizzards. You don't have to sell me on Nutter Butter blended with vanilla ice cream - I am there! But what is with that weird guy who is hawking them? Is he supposed to be some kind of spokesperson? That ad makes me never want to go into DQ at all!

There are so many more like this. 

Have you seen the Sears commercial where the spokesperson tells the couple that Sears has anything they could possibly want? The couple is sort of clueless until the big Sears logo appears.

Now I don't know about you but I have been to this store lately. It is nothing like that ad at all. Dirty, messy, disorganized, no help whatsoever. No clue. No guidance as to where anything is, why it's better than anything else, or how to buy it. A big gigantic mystery store, that is Sears.

Let me pick on Kmart a little too. What is the deal with the back-to-school commercials showing kids' clothes for the cheapest prices imaginable? Isn't the problem with Kmart that they're known for low-low prices so low they're embarrassing? Because if anyone found out you shopped at Kmart they would laugh you out of town?

Insurance companies are kind of weird with their commercials. What was with the Geico caveman? Do you like Progressive Flo? Yuck yuck and yuck more. Who are these people and why would I buy insurance from them? You know who is good - the guy who used to play the President of the United States on "24." Just because he represents Allstate, I seriously would consider them.

Continuing that positive note, here is one company whose TV commercials are magnificent: Chrysler and its "Made in Detroit" campaign. The ads rebuild a brand, bring it back to its essence, and update and muscle it up for the future. 

Those ads are so good - so resonant with the actual brand of Detroit and the actual turnaround situation the company is in - that I actually would consider buying one. Not because I'm shallow. But because I sense that behind this ad is an actual business strategy that is carefully thought-through and makes sense. It's also deeply patriotic, a value that means a lot to me.

In the end this is the purpose of a TV ad. To hammer a brand image into your brain, over and over again, until you are curious enough to consider buying. If an ad does that it's done a lot. But if it leaves you laughing - not with it but at it - then whoever spent all that money just wasted it.

Have a great day everyone, and good luck!

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