Most commercials are designed to get you to buy something or to buy into something. Some use the art of persuasion, some use subliminal messages and some advertisers take whole psychology courses to convince you to purchase their goods. I imagine that guilt is used as selling point too, but it’s a special business owner who can design his ad to make a person feel like two old shoes in the process.
Up until several years ago a particular business was known for sponsoring the obituary notices on a particular radio station. The business sold funeral-related items and the commercial was designed to help you remember to visit them when you had a need to do so. The ad was such a part of the landscape that most of us can still recite much of it by heart, hearing the sombre music and the soothing tone of the announcer in our heads.
Last week I heard an ad that should be on the first page of the advertising text book telling you what not to do. This was one of those commercials that somehow makes it on to the air but you have to wonder who the heck approved the message. I’m pretty sure this business doesn’t have an ad department and I know it didn’t make use of the many ad companies around town because any of them would have advised against telling potential customers that they were “here to see” that we respected our loved one’s memory.
Probably with greeting cards in mind, they sought to rhyme every line, and while on the face of it, it didn’t seem a bad statement to make I couldn’t quite get past the tone that it came with. It also didn’t help that they surmised that I might have inherited some of my parent’s money and chided me by saying that the least I could do was to make sure I used some of it to erect a monument with their name on it.
Talk about a beat down! But these are tough times, so maybe I’m the one who needs to understand that regardless of what you’re selling, there’s no room for anything named subtlety when you’re trying to get some business.