Internet Manages to Make Advertising Even More Annoying
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Internet Manages to Make Advertising Even More Annoying

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | September 19, 2012 | Comments ()


Look, no one likes advertising, but it's something that we've been either trained or brain washed to accept in exchange for our entertainment. I get funny moving pictures, they get to make a play for my money. There are entire piles of research done on how advertising affects the brain, on how effective various types of advertising are. There are a couple approaches that seem to work pretty well from a casual, end user's perspective. Advertising in a highly entertaining way not so subtly creates a positive connection in your mind with that product. And that's not even particularly nefarious, it feels almost like an exchange. You made me laugh, in return I think slightly more favorably about your diet soda.

The other way is by going the subtle but inescapable route. Make sure everyone sees your logo out of the corner of their eye every single day, and they can't help but have heard of your product. And we're more likely to buy a product we've heard of than one we haven't, even if we can't put a finger on a particularly positive impression, just the mere recognition.

Advertising on Internet television has the potential to be ludicrously more effective than other ads by simple virtue of targeting. It doesn't even have to be creepy "your browser history indicates that you may be interested in jumbo size adult diapers" sorts of targeting. It can be as simple as making your experience with advertising less irritating because they don't give you the ads that irritate people in your demographic.

That potential has failed, and instead I find myself watching the exact same ads over and over again every time I watch a video online. I hate these ads. They are irritating and so pervasive that they have had the exact opposite effect of what advertising is supposed to have. They are making me remember their products so that I never ever buy them. Congratulations companies, you are now spending your money to convince me not to buy your products.

First up is Absolut vodka's odd attempt at a music video:

Congratulations, I hate your laid back overly produced dribble of half-audible lyrics that you try to masquerade as depth. I would have normally not cared enough about it to bother hating it before forgetting about it, but now you have to show up in front of every other video on Hulu, along with another clip of you musing on just how mind blowing your creative process is and how Absolut vodka totally was part of that before they cut you a check. Fuck you and fuck your overly priced rubbing alcohol with seventy different varieties of high fructose corn syrup added to make it appeal to people who think hard alcohol is supposed to have a flavor besides burn. If the label isn't in cyrillic, it's not vodka.

Next is this one trying to convince people to vote.

No, no, I don't gotta do this, I don't gotta do that. Every time this commercial comes on, after each person starts their little "I gotta..." sentence, I yell "GOTTA GET UP TO GET DOWN" at my computer screen and drown out their message of democratic responsibility. Advertising, destroying democracy since before the revolutionary war (seriously, there's a Ben Franklin quote about it).

And don't forget the Bing challenge:

Oh look, Microsoft is spending piles of money trying to convince people that their copycat product is better than the original. The only thing that changes is what random product is losing to companies people like better. I'm convinced that Microsoft's complete inability to advertise effectively is because advertising people all use Macs and their first loyalty is always to their emperor. I assume this ad is for the new Microsoft Douchebag, because that is the most prominent part of the video.

And finally, the one that really pisses me off, the one that I believe I've seen in every single Hulu video for the last three weeks, usually at every single commercial break, the Ford speed dating commercial:

Ford "Speed Dating" from One at Optimus on Vimeo.

You know what generic hot blonde lady? Big Dan is awesome. I would have his fantasy football loving, sports trivia winning, mad fist bumping teddy bears of babies in a heart beat. And "look like my ex-girlfriend" guy? Yeah, that's awkward, but that means that socially awkward as he is, this guy's last girlfriend was mad hot. He's got some hidden talents for reeling them in that would probably blow your closed mind into the next county. And the guy building a time machine? Fuck yeah. These guys? Big Dan, The Linguist, and the Doctor? I want to have these guys over for dinner.

But oh no, not you generic hot blonde lady, you have nothing but eye rolls and mockery for this fine selection of original and interesting specimens. Oh no, you save the purr for an expensive haircut named Jake with a Ford key chain.

"Oh, I was just looking at a Ford" said no one ever.

There are approximately 50 million Fords on American roads. Liking someone because they drive one is like getting excited because someone wears jeans. It says nothing about personality, interests, or compatibility. In fact, all it really says in this instance is that a guy is so full of himself for so little justification that he not only bought a Ford keychain, but that he feels a need to flaunt it. "Yeah, baby, that's right. I drive an average automobile with no personality just like millions of other people." [heavy breathing] "And I also like to watch television and eat pizza."

Fuck both of you. I hope you get married and have perfectly mediocre joyless lives, revelling only in thinking you're better than people with actual personality. And I hope you have perfectly mediocre children who you drive to school in your perfectly mediocre SUVs. But then you're going to have an accident, and you're going to get knocked up after you thought you were done. And your youngest kid is going to be weird, and wear glasses, and read too much, and get picked on by perfectly mediocre kids at school.

And that is going to be the universe's revenge. It will give you a child who your dim and small mind can never quite understand, except that you somehow realize that perfectly mediocre people, like you have always been, are the ones who make life hell for your perfectly non-mediocre child. And for the first time in your life you will dare to dream of more than mediocrity but it will be forever tainted by the guilt, the terrible guilt, that you always feel embarrassed by your youngest child.

And I hope you remember then, when your youngest goes off into the world to be something fantastic and stops calling his perfectly mediocre mother, and you are left with the ashes of life watching perfectly mediocre television with your perfectly mediocre haircut of a husband, that you chose this life because of a goddamned Ford keychain.

Yeah, Ford, pencil me in for one of those new 2013 models.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Dragonchild

    I've learned over the years to close myself off when I experience epic rage to avoid humiliating myself and deeply regretting it in hindsight. When SLW goes into an unleashed rage, he pens a brilliant rant against Ford's Marketing Dept. I'm rather jealous. I could never funnel that extent of unhinged emotion in a productive, much less intentionally amusing way.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    SLW, you know I love you, but I gotta take the different path on this one. Watching that Ford commercial triggers practically a PTSD response where I feel immediately sick and nervous causing me to have a nam-style flashback to every horrendous date I've been on.

    On a blind date with Todd-with-two-Ds, he was so odd and rude that I called it a night shortly after dinner (I paid for myself so I could leave without guilt) and he called me -while I was on the metro without reception- and texted me twice. When I didn't respond he sent a follow up text that I was a fat bitch anyway.

    When I dated Big Dan, he broke up with me after 5 months by just not talking to me anymore one day. We worked together*. Also, he had a serious illegal sports gambling problem.

    *Please note I am not a psychopath and as an adult can handle a mature workplace breakup. I however find it very bizarre for a person to act as if I were wearing the cloak of invisibility. At least a post-it note provides closure.

    I'm currently dating Dr. Spaceman, and it aint no easy path as we are currently in a rough patch. Granted, I come from geek parents and I wear glasses and read way way to many books and am weird and like sci fi and I paint but just ONCE I would like to go on a date with Ford-man. The way every geek guy thinks he's going to get rich and date a hot blonde, 80s movies have likewise promised me that reasonably attractive normal guy will totally dig not hot quirky girl. Yes, both of these are fiction, but I would HAPPILY have an evening of not-so-intelligent conversation with a Ford driving man who watches television and eats pizza if it meant I could have a non-traumatic dating experience.

    I'm pretty sure that ad was for women.

  • Dragonchild

    So, in other words, your problem is really that every time you date a guy, you see potential perfection in the guy you're NOT dating at the time. In fact, it's so bad that when you're dating Dr. Spaceman, you think the guy with the Ford is the one you've been looking for.

    Good luck with that.

  • cinekat

    Those last three paragraphs fill me with gleeful rage. Or raging glee. Both these things are what continually bring me back to Pajiba. Cause I'm warm and fuzzy like that.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    For months I kept getting that eyelash growing shit with Brooke Shields and her annoying little dance move head jerk. GAH!

  • Aaron Schulz

    You can tell hes a good writer because he uses irritating 15 times in 5 sentences.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    And I can tell that you can't count.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    Gods yes. I get that they want the product to be remembered, but as it happens, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Mine was Mike's Hard Lemonade. I saw over 50 adverts in a 2 hour period and now loath both Mike's and Dailymotion's commercial policy.

    The other adverts I am seeing all the time, but am torn about, are the one's for the Mormon Church. It starts out with a nice family person telling a cute story about their interesting career and even more important family, and then ends with, "I'm a dad, I'm a [insert said career here], and I'm a Mormon." Now I would have hated these adds anyway on account of being very frustrated with the Mormon Church as they are the single biggest activists against equal rights (think Prop 8). In fact I boycott Mormons because their tithe system requires that all church members give a percentage of their income to the church. This means that any author or actor or whatever whose work I pay for gets my money and some of that money goes to the Mormon Church, and I refuse to fund them however indirectly.* However, the church spending money on revamping its image has me confused. On the one hand, I really don't want it to work, the commercials are horrid, and I have been bombarded with them. But on the other hand, if they are spending all that money on advertising, it is money they are not spending in denying me equality.

    *Yes, this has actually had an affect on my life. I can't read the most recent Wheel of Time books on account of the replacement author being Mormon. On the plus side it gives me a brilliant out any time someone suggests Twilight.

  • zeke_the_pig

    'Look, no one likes advertising'
    Except advertisers. Those guys lap.that.shit.up.

  • ,

    Holy shit.

    I nominate this rant for EE, even if it's against the rules.

  • space_oddity

    Seriously though. Last time I watched something on Hulu, I had the same ad three times in a row. I can't imagine this is what advertisers want. Because I makes me want to tell everyone I know not to buy their stupid product.

    And 1000x yes on the flavored liquor rant. You want flavor? Fucking add juice.

  • Uriah_Creep

    “Yeah, baby, that’s right. I drive an average automobile with no
    personality just like millions of other people.” [heavy breathing] “And I
    also like to watch television and eat pizza.”

    Rarrrr... what's your phone number, stud?

  • I feel vaguely like that Ford speed dating commercial explains why I can't get a date. It's what I get for being a horror and fantasy geek who collects bones and Venetian masks and has the misfortune of living in Oklahoma, where even the lesbians are really just looking for a mediocre Ford-driving woman.

    The doctor up there had me at "I'm building a time machine." I don't care if it's in his mom's basement, I am so there.

  • Nikita

    At least you don't have a vagina... if you did you'd get NuvaRing commercials all the time. I turn on Hulu, then immediately go get a cup of coffee because I know the next 3 minutes are going to be filled with dumb girls talking about whether or not it's gross to use the ring and if the guy can feel it. It's constant, especially for the Daily Show/Colbert Report.

  • CrystalW187

    You know... ever since I switched to Google Chrome, I NEVER get ads when I watch the Daily Show/Colbert Report. Not a single one. The episodes start immediately and are never interrupted. It's awesome, and it's the only reason I never miss an episode.

    I'm sorry, I don't know what settings I have that are blocking the ads, or I would totally tell you. I could ask my computer-geek brother.

  • alannaofdoom

    Yeah I get those every time. Also, "Your body can tell you're pregnant before you can," which is such a puzzlingly meaningless statement that it should be a zen koan.

  • LizLemon

    Nothing has ever described my 15 years younger brother more than this, I'm still laughing...

    "But then you’re going to have an accident, and you’re going to get knocked up after you thought you were done. And your youngest kid is going to be weird, and wear glasses, and read too much, and get picked on by perfectly mediocre kids at school."

  • Mr_Zito

    I don't get why they think just because it's the internet you're gonna watch three-minute advertises like the ones they put in front of Youtube videos. At least you can skip them after a while, but I'd rather see a short 15-second ad than click on the skip button after 10 seconds of a 2-minute one.

  • AudioSuede

    Comical indignation aside, I love me some Little Dragon, and that song (while not exactly their finest hour) is pretty awesome.

    They did a live thing for Absolut where they played that song in concert and you could actually hear the bass in the mix, and that clip is a lot more fun:

  • Funky_Brewster

    I have never hated anyone in my life as much as I hate Flo. After a million viewings of that Progressive commercial I kind of want to murder her in the face.
    Also, your rant on the Ford commerical is nothing short of brilliant.

  • dizzylucy

    I once heard the same Lowe's commercial about 15-20 times in a row while watching some short videos on a network website. After a few times, I had it memorized. A few more after that, and I wanted to drive my car (a FORD, by the way) through the front door of the nearest Lowe's. I don't think that's what they had in mind with the ad.

  • Utopian

    I want to have sex with the last four paragraphs of this article. Angry, angry sex.

  • Slash

    Absolut misspelled "Mandarin" on the bottle? On purpose? See, now THAT makes me mad.

  • Snath

    9-1-1 IS A JOKE IN YO TOWN

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