Everywhere you look you see an advertisement. At bus stops, on busses, on trains planes and automobiles and everywhere they go. Facebook has advertisements constantly streaming on my homepage, I get dozens and dozens of emails a day advertising everything from replacement china to penis enlargements. My china pattern isn’t part of their inventory I don’t even have a penis. Thirty minute TVs are actually only twenty-two minutes long because we see 8 minutes worth of advertisements. I went to the movies last week and paid $11 dollars to see six commercials and a mediocre movie that lured me in with false advertising. It was not actually one of the summer’s best movies.
That’s the genius behind good marketing. They can sell a bad product and that’s the problem with bad marketing, they can’t sell a good product. I’ve been looking for a handyman and picked up a business card for one at a local pizza shop. I checked out his website where he listed his “specialties” the first thing in the list was “assembling Ikea furniture.” How handy do you have to be to screw together cheap furniture? Does he not know how to assemble Target furniture? He also listed masonry, plumbing and carpentry work, all of which I could use, but I can’t get past his seemingly primary skill, according to Resume Writing 101, of Ikea furniture assembly. He’s probably a fine handyman, maybe even a great handyman but he’s not good at self promotion. I called another handyman who had a great website. It was flashy and highlighted plumbing and masonry and construction. I need a fascia board replaced on my house and thought he might be the guy. He showed up in a typical handyman pick up and began assessing the work. After a few minutes he decided that he couldn’t really do it because he works by himself and the board is six feet long. What kind of construction does he do if he can’t handle boards that at six feet long? Perhaps he’s a dog house builder although his specialty certainly can’t be Great Dane houses. Marketing, it’s the downfall of America.
Back in 1990 there was a genius movie called Crazy People starring Dudley Moore. Essentially an advertising executive checked himself into a looney bin after having a nervous breakdown and started writing advertising copy with some of the other patients. They passed on the creative leniency and exaggerations and instead went with the truth. “Volvo – they’re boxy but they’re good.” “Jaguar — For men who’d like hand-jobs from beautiful women they hardly know.” That’s the route we should take today. “Wii – it looks like exercise but it’s still just a video game.” or “Match.com – pay monthly to meet as many losers as you like.” or “Facebook – the more you post, the sadder you are.”
I’ve probably seen millions of commercials in my life and can still recite the classics like “Mom’s like KIX for what KIX has got, kids like KIX for what KIX is not.” I know about the Cracker Jack kid and that you should “Give a hoot and don’t pollute.” I don’t even know if they still make KIX but that jingle will forever live. In this day and age I rarely even notice ads but am sure they sit somewhere in the back of my mind. I try not to be lured in by ads because I know there’s little truth behind any. I was a doctor in a TV commercial for a hospital and a lawyer in another. I’m not a doctor nor would I even go to that hospital and the best legal advise that I have is that you just shouldn’t commit crimes. Although I did just buy a Sham Wow because I saw it soak up a bottle of soda on TV. Mine doesn’t even dry off my lawn furniture after a rain shower. I guess I won;t buy the miracle egg boiler that I just saw on TV and I don’t really think Cialis will make me want to bath on a mountain and I know I’ll never hire a handyman whose claim to fame is assembling Ikea furniture.