George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Bold, perhaps, but distraction

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

Bold, perhaps, but distraction

Kohler makes bathroom hardware and their current ad shows vintage design bathroom faucets with the tag, “Never too timeless.” O.K., but then they confuse the issue with a couple playing catch-me, catch-me, running from room to room in Gatsby-like settings, backed by some exotic music and singing. She invitingly strips off her top with a come-and-get-it giggle, but evades capture – I think. The guy morphs into modern dress as he bursts into a room through French doors. Oooh, what’s next? To further underscore the timeless theme, the headline is shown in modern Helvetica type. I’m sure there are better ways to make the point than with the distraction of the sex play, but you know those creatives. They could have at least had the “story” continued on their web site.

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Spicy!

The chicken burrito — or whatever it is — at Taco Bell must deliver one heck of a spicy punch. The ad shows an elderly couple in a car and she picks up her top, Grammys Gone Wild style, and shows him the goods to his utter shock. I’ll have what she’s having!

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Free web site? Yes, but…

Web.com’s ads offer to build a web site for you, “free”! Technically, that’s correct, but if you want ongoing maintenance – and few websites can long endure without it – plus hosting, marketing assistance, etc., there is a fee. It’s not clear that they’ll build the site if you don’t sign up for the maintenance.

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A little too fast

RapidAdvance.com’s ad is about ten quick seconds in which a messenger runs on screen and delivers two large bags marked with dollar signs to a guy while yelling, “Your money’s here!” Period. That’s it. I guess they know what they want to spend on TV time, but the overall impression I got was of some fly-by-night operation akin to payday lenders. A visit to their web site, however, indicates a fairly robust company specializing in business loans. Maybe they should lend themselves enough for a decent ad.

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All right already!

There’s one ad on TV these days that’s driving me nuts. Actually, it’s more of an announcement than an ad. I’m referring to a mostly text and voice thing that seeks people who in the last five years who have experienced difficulties from “trans vaginal mesh, bladder mesh, bladder sling and pelvic sling.” Gratefully, I have no idea what those are, but they sound awful. As much as I can grab of the fine print tells me it’s a call by a lawyers’ co-op attempting to add names to a class action lawsuit. OK, but what bugs me is the ad runs all day long, seemingly every half hour, on almost every cable channel I watch! From a marketing perspective, that’s using a broad based medium to reach a very narrowly defined market. Aren’t there better ways? Aren’t these specialized treatments registered somewhere? Sheesh!

 

Just sayin’…

Barack Obama a Martian?

Silly, isn’t it? Yet it’s easy to say anything you like about someone as long as you put a question mark after it.  “Setback for Launch Week?” was a headline under a Hillary Clinton piece on TV. That, to me, is the mark of a needless provocation or at least a lazy journalist. Any time you see a question mark at the end of a headline, you know, 1. It isn’t news, and 2. Someone is messing with the reader – you.

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I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

That may be because I’ve been married twice – both to women. Fact is, however, I also believe that marriage can be between two people of the same sex. Why, oh why, doesn’t some reporter/journalist/commentator ask those anti-gay marriage conservatives what the hell makes the two forms mutually exclusive? Can you believe more than one thing at a time, congressman?

Massachusetts, the first state to allow same sex marriage, hasn’t exactly fallen apart in the years since. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has anyone else’s hetero marriage been adversely affected. And Mass. is a fairly Catholic state.  The other question is by what right does anyone decide who someone else can or cannot marry so long as they meet the applicable state laws? The same applies to choice as well, BTW.

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Yeah, yeah, we got it

The platoon of Republican hopefuls gathered in Nashua, NH, proved once again what we all have known for 20 years: they don’t like Hillary Clinton.  Talk about a familiar tune – even the jokes sucked! But that’s great. When you know what someone is going to say before they say it, how effective can it be? Every poisonous word says more about them than it ever will about her. You know, like Rush Limbaugh. Or Dick Cheney.

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Yesterday, today and tomorrow

So a single mom returning to work is yesterday, huh Marco? Pay equality for women is yesterday? Minimum wage is yesterday? You need to get out more.

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