Our Customers Are Insane Wackos… Like You


Tuesday, 27 September 2005 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

There seems to be a trend in TV commercials where humour is mistaken for insult. Companies show insane, wacky customers, and I think they expect you to laugh at this or identify with these people.

  • A McDonald’s commercial has a woman saying that first, she was mobbed by paparazzi. Then she spent all of her savings on shoes. Then she hired a pool boy… and she doesn’t even have a pool! She sure loves her McGriddles sandwich. It makes her imagination run wild. OK then what’s in that sandwich that produces that effect?
  • A Suzuki commercial has a salesman selling a woman an SUV. As he’s listing the great features of the car, she stops him to say he "had her" at warranty. The next scene is at his desk with paperwork and two pens. He asks her to choose a pen so they can get into the paperwork. She is literally unable to choose a pen, going back and forth and seeming serious. So she can’t pick a pen, but she can pick a car?
  • A non-dairy creamer commercial shows mean people. People closing elevator doors on each other, a woman squirting the paperboy with her garden hose… and why? They haven’t had their morning coffee. I guess we are to believe that these addicts are fabulous altruists once they can have their fix with their non-dairy creamer. I don’t want to show my customers or potential customers as psychos or addicts!

Somebody may think these are humorous, but I wonder if anybody sees them the way I do. I don’t know why any company would want to run commercials that make their own customers look like idiots. Maybe you want to show the competitor’s customers as idiots if you think that works for your target audience and product. By why show your own customers as wacky?

If I ever made a TV commercial, and I showed people representing my customers, I’d show them as intelligent, friendly, and all the positive things they actually are. Humor can get into the ad some other way.


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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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