Friday, December 14, 2007

It's like this...

We all know that people come with varying levels of intellegence. But the one thing that makes all people stupider is being a consumer. The person could be a rocket scientist, but put her in a store and all of a sudden her reading comprehension drops below the average level for kindergarteners.

"Yes Ma'am, I know the sign was big and shiny, but you can cleary see that it says, 'Caution: Wet Floor', not '50% Off Sale'."

"Well that's just ridiculous!"

The only thing that makes people dumber than being a consumer is being an advertiser.
Advertisers believe that the entire world revolves around them and their product. Therefore it is not uncommon for a phone call to go like this:

"Hello, this is Happy Haystack Advertising."
"I got a call about a shoe ad."
"And, how can we help you?"
"I got a call about a shoe ad."
"I'm not quite understanding what you need."
"Well, I got a call about a shoe ad."
"What's your name ma'am?"
"Peg. I got a call about a shoe ad."

What Peg meant to say was, "Hi, my name is Peg Smith. I run an advertisements for shoes with you and I recently recieved a message asking me if I would like to continue that ad. I just wanted to let you know that I would like to continue, but with these changes..."

It's a frequent mistake of advertisers to believe that if they repeat the same incomplete information over and over it will get better results. I can only assume that they believe this because it works on consumers.

Also common,

"Hello this is Happy Haystack Advertising"
"Is Bob there?"
"Can I please tell him your name?"
"Jim. It's personal."

Our caller means to say, "Hello, I'm Jim Calloway, I need to speak to Bob about the book I'm advertising." Jim might also be interested to know that I sit approximately three feet from Bob's desk, so there really isn't anything "personal" about what he'll be telling Bob.

Another favorite is the advertiser who doesn't know anything about his own company. If you come in on the end of the conversation you'll hear something like this,

"Ok, Mr. Gaunt, so we'll run a full page ad saying, "New Year's Sale! 40% off all instock panchos."
"Yes, and I'd like pictures of of the panchos below that."
"Can you e-mail those to me?"
"Oh, I don't have them."
"Could you ask someone who does have them to e-mail them to me?"
"I don't know who would have them. We ran an ad with Big City News a few months ago, you could call them. I talked to a girl with a "D" name. I don't have their phone number, but it's in the phone book."
"Ok, I'll try to get the pictures from them. Do you want a proof?"
"Yeah, that'd be great, can you fax it to me and then to two people at corporate?"
"Sure, what are the numbers?"
"Oh, I don't know. They're in a pile somewhere. Why don't you call me back around five..."

I can't even tell you how many things are wrong with this. But it will help you to know that Mr. Gaunt did not advertise with Big City News, but Substandard Rag where he spoke with a man by the name of George. The people at Big City News know this and are very sympathetic, having worked with Mr. Gaunt before. When he is called back for the fax numbers he still doesn't know where they are, but he does have five pages more worth of text to ad to his full page ad and he will make ten revisions before it is done.

What Mr. Gaunt should have said was, "Hello, my name is Mr. Gaunt, I should be in an assisted living faucility for the mentally incoherant, but I'm having one last shot at the working world instead. I'd like to waste your time."


Emily said...

Funny but sad. Or is it sad but funny?

Melody said...

Think of it kind of like slapstick.
Technically there's nothing funny about someone being hit repeatedly, but we've decided to call it entertainment.

At that point your only options are to laugh or roll your eyes in disgust.

Robin Marie said...

And Melody chooses to roll her eyes in disgust (about slapstick).

Sooooo amusing

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