George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Archive for the category “Watch Your Ads”

Not all ads are ads

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

Not all ads are ads

Some so-called ads are really propaganda in disguise. A good example of this is an announcement currently running from The American Petroleum Institute. It shows a middle age couple. The wife is complaining about a high electric bill and suggesting that if only they had greater access to natural gas, they would enjoy lower bills. He chimes in about gas that’s available “a few states away” if only there were pipelines to bring it closer. No mention, of course, of the many disasters that pipelines create for the communities they cross.

Having witnessed a pipeline battle in my own community recently, it is stunning to see the hubris with which the oil and gas industry believe they are entitled to construct a pipeline any place they wish. The answer here fortunately was, no, they can’t. As the struggle at Standing Rock, as well as our local fight has shown, pipelines bring with them a plethora of problems starting with what should be an unacceptable challenge to the environment. First there’s the long range contribution to global warming that fossil fuels represent, whether it’s considered a “clean” fuel or not.

Then there’s the damage to the environment that the construction itself causes. Pipeline companies bulldoze their way through towns, upending people’s lives, trashing property values, endangering people’s health, and threatening the safety of nearby schools and residents. In some communities they take people’s property from them by “eminent domain.” (Hint: They try not to pay for the whole property, but only for the measured portion the pipeline will actually pass over or through). They frequently represent a danger to one or more of the aquifers they are likely to pass near, not to mention wildlife they’re perfectly willing to destroy. Pipelines frequently require monster compression stations on longer routes to keep the gas moving at full volume. Trust me, you don’t want to live near one.

Then when you’ve fought those battles for about five years, consider the fact that the pipeline is most likely delivering gas to a depot for export, not to your local utility, so you won’t benefit from any of the so-called benefits. Then while you’re about it, check the Wikipedia listing of pipeline explosions in the 21st century. Keep all that in mind next time you see those two sweet folks discussing their electric bill.

Keep clickin’…

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Watch Your Ads Returns

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

As a relief from the horrors of the Trump campaign, transition and, yes, presidency, I’ve decided to revisit my initial blog, Watch Your Ads. This where I attempt a modicum of revenge on the mindless ads I’m constantly subjected to as the price we all pay for a few minutes of TV drama or whatever. Send along your own thoughts any time.

Nails on the Blackboard Award, 2016

Goes to Jimmy from Zyppah. First for attaching such an idiotic name for a product intended for general sales, second for that Leo Gorcey voice that has me punching the mute button on the clicker as quickly as possible and third for the ridiculous assumption that half the world is keeping the other half awake with their snoring.

Johnny 4 – note Award:

The background theme behind the Humira ad repeats the same four notes seven times in a one minute ad. It’s enough to give you ulcerative colitis.

The Instant Diabetes Award

Goes to Kars4Kids featuring four 3-year-olds (ok, maybe a bit older) who must have learned to play various instruments in pre-school – all decked out in shocking pink, of all colors. Must the color of choice for people donating their cars, er, Kars. So sweet, I gain two pounds every time it comes on the screen.

War Monger of the Year Award, 2016

To Arnold Schwarzenegger, the steely-eyed commander of military forces in the ad for the computer game, Mobile Strike. He sure knows how to call up the heavy artillery, so all you computer game fans, gather round and Uncle Arnold will show how easy and exciting it is to blow folks to hell. Lots of noise, too! Get it from the ‘opp’ store.

Most Creative Ad of the Year, 2016

Yes, every once in a while something good happens in ad land. Ask Don Draper. In this case it’s Farmer’s Insurance’s charming ad featuring five dogs of questionable patrimony better known as “Mer-mutts.” They fill a kitchen with water and jump in for an Olympic demonstration of precision swimming. Hilarious. 9.7.

Now back to our show…

Diet Dr. Pepper – falsetto cowboy?

 

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