Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hateful Advertisements are Effective

Most of us know that an annoying advertisement can be just as effective as a nice one. You know those commercials that are loud and brash and deliberately ugly? Their point is not to make you ENJOY them, it's to make you notice them and remember the message.

I live life blissfully free of adverts and it's rare that one actually enters into my consciousness. But I've developed such an irrational hatred of this Canadian Tire "Mortgage" character that I have to admit it: the advertisers, by being sneaky, have managed to get me. They've won again.

Every time I see this guy pop up somewhere -- most commonly at BlogPatrol, where I track my blog stats -- I get a hot feeling in my face and I try to minimize my exposure by frantically "clicking through." If I'm lucky I can get to my stats without ever seeing him, but more often than not I miss the links and wind up on other pages, where I see him again...and again...and again.

Why do I hate him? Partly because he looks "stupid," but mainly because he makes no sense. What is he supposed to be? Why's he dressed like that? Why's he always grabbing things and then falling down? YARGH!

The thing is, if I didn't hate him so much I would never have absorbed his message: Canadian Tire offers payment plans of some sort. Despite my best efforts this sidebar advertisement has effectively reached me. I now know exactly what Canadian Tire wanted me to know. Hey, I'm even indirectly advertising for them by telling you all how much I HATE the commercial.

The fact that I would NEVER get a loan from Canadian Tire is beside the point; other people DO want to get loans, and if they hate that egg-shaped guy as much as I do, they'll notice the advertisement and the message will get across.

Brilliant. Awful.

8 comments:

Adrian said...

That reminded me of a couple of nasty commercials... probably the worst is the 'Head-On, Apply Directly to the Forehead' x 12 (If you haven't seen it, don't, but if morbid curiosity gets the better of you I am sure it is on YouTube).

Also, you may have similar sensitivities as the main character in "Pattern Recognition" by William Gibson. Give it a read. :)

VanillaJ said...

It's just a little depressing that people would get a mortgage from the same chain retailer that sells car polish and detergent. A mortgage is the biggest purchase of your life - and you're drawn in by the annoying fumbling little man in a teardrop costume who sells financing through a big box store.

What next? Walmart Funeral Services? Future Shop's Fertility Solutions? Or maybe Home Depot's "MIR Medical Assist Program"? (Get a 10% discount with your purchase today with your completed application!)

Muffy St. Bernard said...

JESUS, that "Head-On" commercial is TERRIBLE. And yes, I bet it works. What's more, it probably only cost 25 cents to make.

Can't...get it...out of my head...

Muffy St. Bernard said...

No kidding, Vanilla. I can only assume it's for people who can't get regular mortgages, but I can't imagine how Canadian Tire stacks up against the rest. Seems like a bad idea to me.

I bet the guy is supposed to be an egg. Like maybe he's a "nest egg?"

mcmonkey said...

You never know...CT could do some pretty good business with folks that are sick of 'the big greedy banks' and can now head to the place they already go religiously anyhow.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Plus they can buy...tires!

I see your point, many people don't have much faith in banks either. Time to convert to the gold standard...

marvin said...

Walmart Funeral Services exists in the souther states

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Marvin. I am APALLED. That's terrible!

But probably cheap.