George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Rock throwing and spitting contests

From Watch Your Ads — A media memo by George Duncan

I printed out a 2-page article from an online newsletter recently, and when the printer finally gasped to a stop, I had the 2-page article and 31 pages of comments. Whaat?  I’ve seen comments attached to articles, blogs, etc. before, of course, mostly people taking some issue with the piece. I’ve even been tempted to add a comment myself on occasion, but I stopped when I realized I’d just be entering the ring with a gaggle of smartasses, and I’d probably waste a bunch of time in a useless back and forth of interest only to them and me. Out of curiosity, I looked through those 31 pages and sure enough it was tutti123 throwing rocks at frutti456. And back and forth and back and forth forever. And for what, I wondered. Spammy spam spam, that’s what. So I’m thinking all this about comments and open The Sunday Times Magazine (9/22) and hola! There’s a whole piece on comments – history, latest techs, the whole nine yards. It’s by Michael Erard and he starts out observing that comments may be the most obnoxious development of the web. “The wild back alleys where people sound their acid yawps.” Well, Miley Cyrus might take issue, but that’s a pretty accurate, if Times appropriate, comment. End of rant.

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Come right in little girl, hwaahaahaaa!

GE is usually pretty savvy with their advertising, but I think this time they screwed the pooch. It’s an ad for their medical software and they have this secret agent-looking creep walking around a hospital, showing up here and there in multiple images surrounding by tons of techy imagery. May look cool to a VP of technology, but it’s likely to scare the hell out of anyone with a hospital stay coming up. And just think of all the positive ways they could have presented that stuff! Draper? Beuler?

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Get Lucky at the Courtyard

Take Marriott Courtyard hotels, for example. One of their ads shows how their “perfect stay” will help you relax, have a drink, and chat up the chick at the bar. Or did she chat him? Watch it buddy, especially if she asks to see your ID.

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The purple hand!

Apparently, for $18/month, Nexium will give you a purple hand.

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Can someone explain the USAA ad that shows kids naming the date and place where they “inherited” their father’s automobile insurance?  Are those the dates and places their dads died? Fort Benning? Vietnam? I have USAA insurance, but it never occurred to me to mention it in my will.

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Somewhere over the Skittles

Speaking of kids, Skittles has a cute ad going, showing some kids playing around, scarfing Skittles, and then the young man kisses the young lady. As he recovers, several of his teeth are replaced by colorful Skittles. The tag line?  “French the Rainbow.” Cute, huh?

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Fly the classy skies

One of the best spots on TV is the new ad for United Airlines with a symphony orchestra seated in the airplane playing Gershwin.

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Quote of the week:

“No education is complete without Outward Bound”

Now you tell me!

Keep clickin’

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