Do you ever hear an ad once in a while that makes you stop and go “wait, what?” I do. All the time. I am fascinated with advertising in that it’s really no more than a brilliant, manipulative – almost brainwashing, really – tactic to push our dollars around the world. There are days when I think I should have gone into advertising, but then there are days when I’m pretty sure I could be an expert sculptor.
I love good advertisements and will go out of my way to reward good advertising. Shit, I’ve got buy some type of kitchen cleaner. And you can’t test them out like you can with makeup (like the back of my hand looks anything like my face, thanks). Might as well try the one that made you think “Ha! That is awesome!”
But in my constant quest for good ads, I seem to hear a lot of those usually underbudgeted weird ads with the weird slogan, or tag, or whatever you call that last little punchline. Like that jeweller by the Buffalo airport, where a diamond won’t cost you “an arm and a leg” (mannequin limbs jostled merrily towards the camera) Really? Limbs? That’s your…that’s your selling point, eh? Okay, just checking. You sure? You’re sticking with it? Alright then.
“Garaga – a choice you’ll never regret.” Garaga does garage doors, did you guess? It’s not really weird so much as…well it’s sort of like starting your resume with “I ain’t never been to jail.” (And yes, I’ve seen that resume, on Craigslist.) Yeah, sure, they’ll probably want to know your history at some point, but is that really what you want to focus on here? You won’t regret us, honest! Now just…just give us your wallet.
There’s a dentist’s office that advertises on the subway. Apparently they specialize in kids, and I can see how you would want to emphasize that. A mother wants to know, when choosing a doctor for little Johnny’s diseased molars, if the waiting room will have fun fuzzy toys or an ominous, massive fish tank that her kids will get yelled at for tapping. But their slogan was “We like kids and they love us.” Totally great and innocent until my brain comes along and starts wondering “Why the difference, the specific choice of love vs. like? Do you not enjoy the children as much as they appreciate you? Are you being swamped with little tots that you really think are just kind of – meh – okay?” And you’ve got to be careful when talking about your affection for children, what with pedophiles lurking around every corner. Or at least pedophile jokes. No, not the dentist for me.
This last one wasn’t so much of a punchline as a general idea. It was for one of those men’s de-grayifier “we swear you’re not just dying your hair” dealios. This slightly older gentleman is sitting in a well-appointed living room for a charming afternoon of reading or whatever. And these two somewhat adorable girls appear with great purpose and say “Dad, it’s time! You’ll make a really good catch for someone!” And they wave a box of de-grayifier at him.
Are you serious? Wow, what a market. Widowers CLEARLY in need of a babysitter – how the hell did those girls get a hold of that shit without his knowledge? Did they leave the house unattended at get it from the store? Did they swipe it from the shelves while he was buying their Barbie Bubblegum toothpaste? Klepto bastards! And hi, um, maybe it’s a little weird that your eight year old is suddenly super interested in your extra-curricular activities.
And finally, a commercial that while lacking in bizarre tags, certainly lends itself an air of “you can’t be serious.”