What's the Deal with Advertising These Days


Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 — 11:15am PST
Comments 6

Photo credit: 604Photos on Flickr

Real estate blogger Matthew Collinge first brought this ad (left) to my attention. He asked on his blog, “what is this picture selling?”

As Matthew points out in his post, the photo is an ad for a development in Surrey.

I’ve noticed this a lot around town lately. The seemingly totally unrelated advertisements that don’t even feature the product they’re selling. Must be a new trend.

Here’s an add for Aldo, the shoe store (right) that you can find on bus stops downtown. It seems they’re selling the fun and playful lifestyle more than shoes although if you didn’t know what an “Aldo” was it could even be for cosmetics, clothing, some type of pill that makes you dance and be happy or a condo in Yaletown.

On that note, back to the real estate…

There’s a development on Davie and Howe called “Alto“, which boasts roomy 10 foot ceilings and a comfy downtown location. On the main Davie street-facing sign there’s a photo of a dog chasing a ball. What that has to do with the condos is beyond me. Better yet, on their website they have a photo of some of the promo buttons.

Again, these don’t quite get me thinking real estate. I suppose the idea is to get your attention and make you visit the website.

I remember in high school for Student Council elections one candidate’s campaign included a huge hand-painted sign hanging over the main stairwell. In big bold letters it said SEX and below it in fine print it said, “now that I have your attention, vote so-and-so for Student Council.”

I admit that I love a clever ad campaign (diamond Shreddies anyone?) as just yesterday I Twittered about the E-trade baby and the clown version of that series of commercials. At least we know what he’s selling eh.

Am I requesting that all ads be literal? Not really, but however witty and clever I think sometimes the silliness just gets taken a little too far. Do people like not knowing what the product is about when they see an ad? Does a photo of a woman in a bathing suit floating in a pool of tranquil water make you want a buy a home? I guess so, I mean at least the bloggers are talking about it so if the goal was to create a buzz in that manner, it’s working.

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6 comments

  1. Duane Storey says:

    Remember the old toilet paper commercials with all the kittens playing with toilet paper? I mean, I don’t normally take my kittens into the can with me when I need to go. But people thought they were cute, and somehow made them think the toilet paper was soft like a kitten. Or I dunno.

  2. Rastin Mehr says:

    I think they are trying to cater to the idea of “Experience Industry” where the experience of using a product is more important than the product itself, however during the execution each time they’ve ended up with pictures of bunch of girls dancing!

    mmm … every ecstatic experience in life feels like bunch of girls dancing around us!

    I guess developing ads for the experience industry requires slightly more imagination and EQ!

  3. Miss604 says:

    @Duane – the mental image of your “used kittens”… oh man. I like the Charmin ads with the bears although their latest ones with the “uh oh!” paper flecks stuck to the bear’s bottom just rub me the wrong way. Pardon the pun.

  4. Thanks for mention Rebecca. That lovely lady still does not make me think about Surrey condos and the website with music that you can’t turn off means I haven’t even checked out their site yet.

    Alto seemed pretty excited about their 10ft ceilings, but I didn’t that 10ft ceilings were THAT exciting.

    Advertisers are defintely having to work harder and harder to get the consumers attention these days and that will mean a lot of bad ideas and, hopefully, a few gems.

  5. Trevor says:

    I’d like to know if anyone running for school president has not used that “Sex Attention” joke from the Simpsons. Oy.

  6. fotoeins says:

    Reminds me of this advertisement for Burger King on Avenida 9. de Julio in Buenos Aires

    http://web.mac.com/henrylflee/pix/200803b_BsAs/slides/IMG_6656.html

    Lovin’ it.

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