Why do advertising script writers assume we are all stupid?


I am often perplexed when I sit watching television. Let us take for example Vanish Washing Powder. In the UK we have an advertising campaign for a washing powder that apparently puts oxygen into washing giving the washing process an extra fizz that makes it come out the washing machine squeaky clean. A year or two ago when the product first hit the shelves, it was simply marketed as a wonder powder that had the power of oxygen in it. But as the product has grown in popularity the product has been developed into a special colours wonder powder, and whites wonder powder that has special intelligent stain seekers that seek out stains of any kind and wondrously work their magic to make the stains miraculously disappear, while making your whites whiter than white, and your colours never fade, and its pretty amazing that a crumpled shirt can suddenly appear better than new, all pressed and with the ability to make everyone, even a three year old get massively excited about the amazing intelligent stain seekers that made our washing so amazingly clean. The fact of the matter is that all Vanish is, is a washing powder! There is nothing at all intelligent about it. I mean come on, intelligent stain seekers? How foolish do you really assume we are?

Beauty adverts are another prime culprit. Whoever comes up with the ideas behind so many of the beauty product adverts really should be sacked. It is no surprise that cosmetics is such a tightly fought advertising ground. Women spend an endless amount of money on products that quite clearly do not do what it says on the tin. My first example would be shampoo’s. Have you ever noticed that each year we are told by one manufacturer or another that they have found the wonder extract or the extra special secret formula that makes their product perfect for your hair? Last year it was mango extract, this year it is bamboo extract, next year it’ll be baobab milk! I ask myself if mango extract was the most amazing wonderful perfect hair extract why the hell do we now need to shift to bamboo extract this year? I mean common. A little bit of essence of scent to make it smell different does not make the content of your product any different. Yes admittedly we are all attracted to a different scent for shampoo, personally i quite like a shampoo that smells like apple, but please don’t try tell me that different smells are going to make washing my hair any different. I mean rubbing soap into my hair is not a sexual experience, nor does it make me feel amazingly overwhelmed by sudden beauty.

Ageing products are yet another mystery. I often watch a middle aged woman stroll across a hanger attempting to look 22 and very beautiful. She may well have been good looking once, but I am always struck by the fact that she looks tired, fake and no matter how much makeup they have applied she still looks old and clearly has wrinkles. Seems all that time in make up before shooting really wasn’t worth it! If your getting old accept it. Get old gracefully and learn the simple fact that unless you want to look like you’ve got lips as thick as someone whacked by Mike Tyson, so really fancy looking like you’ve got clay in the fishers and flaws that are wrinkles on your face, or what ever else it is that your trying desperately to cover up, give up. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but minimal is more natural. Less is more. So extra long lashes really are not that sexy girls. If you got lashes six inches long I’ll be thinking your more of a freak than how much I want to get you into my bed.

We all have our list of truly irritating adverts. Some of them are just made irritating because through their constant annoying repetition we actually remember the product or company paying for the irritating advert. Take the idiot who keeps shouting about time while trying to advertise for an insurance company that in actual fact don’t provide insurance to musicians whom the irritating loud mouth just happens to be! Or the old gramps who reassures his darling that live moving ducks flapping around in the sun roof of a car are in actual fact plastic dummies a second later that just happen to be sponsorship for the so named company. Yup I remember the names of both insurance providers and most assuredly inform them that it is through their continual pathetic attempts to entice me but plying me with adverts that make me feel about four that will ensure I never use their company.

I am sure if I asked each of you to name only one advert that grated on you as you are forced to watch it time after time, that we’d have a list a mile long. In my view advertising should be cleaver. Thought provoking. Cutting edge and seek to make the product look genuine yet classy. Advertising that challenges your perception and interpretation always inspire, and when someone has really taken the time to get the public to buy into the concept like the advert currently running where a man, woman and two children utilise a service the company offers while going through their day to day lives encourages you to take note, and follow the advertising theme over a whole period of time.

Let me know what you think. What is your favourite advert on telly at the moment and which one really gets under your skin every time you seek it. I look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.

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One comment on “Why do advertising script writers assume we are all stupid?

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