Sunday, September 02, 2007

Advertising point of view

I watch a lot of ads and as everything else I think about them also, so you may see some more posts about ads in here.

When I watch some ads I wonder if the ad agencies think of the general public as a bunch of dumb idiots. And then I wonder if they are right. Case in point, 2 cases actually, 2 car ads.

Kia cee'd: This young man rings the doorbell, a girl comes out, they are awkward about hugging or kissing, can't decide, so I'd guess they have been dating for some time but not yet in the girlfriend-boyfriend stage. They get in the car, she says, "Nice car". He drives to some place, stops the car and proposes to the girl, right there, without a ring, just some stuff about "buy a house, get a dog..", and she says yes. They don't know each other well enough to hug without awkwardness and it's the first time she's sitting in his car (if had just bought it, the conversation would go differently), but he proposes and she accepts. Then they get out of the car and you see that he has parked away from the building, in pouring rain, in the middle of a grassy lawn, where there are no other cars around. With all that space he parked in a place where the car will get wet and they will have a puddle in their shoes just walking through all that grass to the building. Voice over talks about quality commitment and 7 years warranty.

My question: Do only dumb people buy Kia cee'd or it makes them so dumb just by driving it and traveling in it?

Toyota Yaris: They have a series of ads all on the same theme, one person doesn't treat the car with respect and the owner of the car gets even with them. Ad 1 - A girl is flying her boyfriend's remote control plane and then purposefully smashes it to the ground pretending to lose control. Following the gleam of devious victory in her eyes the flashback shows a scene when this guy was helping her carry stuff from the car and since both his hands were full he kicked the car door shut with his foot. The girl saw it and resolved to take revenge. Ad 2 - Two buddies crossing a muddy patch on rope and this one guy cuts the rope when the other is just above the mud, causing him to splash in the mud. Flashback shows that guy 2 had put his foot on guy 1's car's dashboard as guy 1 was driving. Voice over says, "Toyota Yaris, treat it with respect!"

My take: The people who disrespected the car did it in carelessness and negligence (or necessity, how do you close a car door when your hands are full of grocery?), but the owners of the car acted with devious craftiness, premeditation and deliberate revengeful intentions. Again, it maybe that only mean people would buy this car or they get this mean streak after they buy the car.

Every car has a character and it attracts people of that character to buy and/or it influences the character of the owner by association. I know this from my own experience with motorcycles and observing different cars and their owners in India (where the car models are not so numerous as to lose track), you can confirm this simply by asking any man who has owned multiple models of cars over time.

So, my question is - are we as dumb as the advertisers seem to think we are?

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