George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Meow Business Pro?

From Watch Your Ads — A media memo by George Duncan

If you’re a “business pro” as pictured in the National Auto Rental ad, do you really want your car rental guy saying “meow” to you? I didn’t think so. I keep imagining a stopwatch like on 60 Minutes in the corner of the screen as three business pros come off a plane and head for their rentals at National, Avis and Hertz (or whomever National considers their competition). As the National guy gets in his car and guns the engine, the stopwatch stops and we see the other two just leaving their respective rental stations. As a former car renter, that would mean something more to me than “meow.”

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That Midas Touch

Midas has expanded its service beyond mufflers and brakes, but do they still do wheel bearings? The Midas ad sounds a bit defensive to me, warning that some might try to sell you a catalytic converter when all you had was a loose gas cap. Can you imagine the nerve? Almost like waiting until your car is on the lift, shaking the wheel a bit and suddenly “discovering” you need wheel bearings. “Don’t know if we have those in stock. I’ll have to check with my manager.” Boy was I lucky. Guess there was a lot of that wheel bearing disease going around back then.

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BP Discovers Safety

I love the BP ad touting their commitment to safety as the courts mull a possible $18 billion lawsuit for their disastrous oil spill in the Gulf. Now they act like they invented safety. Or maybe the Gulf, it’s not clear.

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A Little Too Subtle

Trip Advisor’s ad is so subtle, I don’t what they do. It shows a guy in a suit (hotel exec?) walking purposefully down the hall to a room – but he’s really only visible from the waist down. There’s a large panel covering the top part of the screen with 5 or 6 dots on it, all but one filled in. The guy stops at a room, the guest comes to the door in bare feet and robe – still all from the waist down – and the hotel guy hands him a toothbrush or maybe some toothpaste or maybe a baggie, who knows. The final dot
gets filled in – logo. Frequently the agency creatives get too clever by half. The creative gets in the way of the message.

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Built for Mankind? Really?

Well, it had to happen. Acura now has a car “built for mankind.” Whew! I’ve had enough of trying to drive those vehicles built for chimpkind.

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Mom of the Year

A great big gold cup engraved “STFU” to Jeremy’s mom in the T-Mobile ad. I know, she just cares too much. But why tee off your prospects with a pushy loudmouth?

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Sorry, Duck

When Aflac introduced the duck initially they used him imaginatively. He was fun. I don’t know what happened, but the new duck is a pain in the ass. The “actor” spot is stupid and the “football” spot is just a lot of yelling “Aflac” while the voice over tries to explain what Aflac is.

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