The art of selling

posted in: Life and things | 1

Do you remember the Louie the Fly ad?

It would have been around in the sixties or seventies, I think. It’s simple and it has a clear message. Flies spread disease, potentially harming your children. BUT – we have the answer – MORTEIN.

Those were the good old days when ads had a clear message and pushed the notion that life was better with whatever the product was for X reasons. I can still sing along with the little song.

Those days are gone, it seems.

These days a very large percentage of ads on any TV station advertise what said TV station is showing next. For instance, one reality TV show is about to finish in a blaze of Grande Finale whizzbangery – it’s okay, we’ve got the latest absurdity coming up very, very soon. Needless to say, the Grand Finale (whatever happened to Grand Final?) is pushed at every opportunity until it happens. Just about every day we’re shown a teaser trailer for the next episode of Home and Away. Then there’s the Grand Announcement of the resurrection of My Kitchen Rules (oh joy…). It’s even on the radio. We listen to the ABC’s news radio when we’re in the car, where we’re regularly entertained with the ABC telling us that “they’re the most relied-on news service, with balanced journalism, and in-depth analysis”. It’s good for a laugh but becomes a bit tiresome.

Getting back to REAL ads, they’ve become a bit odd. You still get the occasional ad that’s more like the Louie the Fly ad – a clear message with reasons why you should support product X – but obviously with better production. There’s that rather good one where the young fellow in the Triton 4WD picks up a fellow and gives him a lift home over very rough country. It’s an ad about a tough car which even manages to get a smile on the old fellow’s dial.

At least that one’s Australian. We see so many ads that are clearly made for America, eg cars driving on the right hand side of the road. Often they don’t even bother to re-record the narrator’s voice to Australian. As for the interminable ads for betting aps – the marketing people should understand that if they run ads featuring American basketball stars, a common response in Australia is going to be “who the hell is he?”

I rather like the ad for women’s incontinence pads where the lady explains how discreet and comfortable they are and (just in case viewers haven’t realised) halfway through they show a caption reading ‘paid actor’.

There are so many ads these days that are, in my opinion, just plain stupid. Here are three of my current favourites, in order of stupid from lowest to highest.

In position number 3, a variety of groups, ranging from two people changing a tyre, a couple of girls on a scooter, a carload of young blokes, and a family of Australians of Asian heritage all sing “Together and Lovin’ it”. One of the young guys, obviously a Kiwi, needs to stop the car for a whizz. It’s at this point (to me, anyway) that the penny drops – this is a Macca’s ad. Go there for the free, clean toilets, stay for the food?

Position number 2 features two cars stopped at a traffic light. Car A’s driver is a (mixed race) mother with a child in the backseat. Child is singing along with a Rap song. Car B is an older (white) woman who looks askance at the child. Mother notices the look, smiles, turns up the volume, and joins in singing with her child. “… I don’t need your bread. I’m a super woman…” Everyone drives off. This is when you discover this ad is for Natural Confectionery. Seems singing child had a packet of sweets in her hand. No, I didn’t notice.

And my all-time favourite – Bobo the Bunny.

Family is in the car, going home from a camping trip. Child in backseat asks, “Mum, where’s Bobo?” Bobo, it seems, is a favourite stuffed toy. Since Bobo is not obviously in sight, even when they stop the car and examine all the contents, dad turns the car around and they retrace their stops in search of the toy. No luck. They end up at their original camping site, which appears to be an empty paddock. Dad and child wander off, still looking for Bobo, and mum, who surely can’t be the sharpest needle in the sewing basket, finds Bobo at the top of that enormous canvas bag she totes around everywhere. She tosses Bobo out for husband to find and hold up in triumph. Are you, too, wondering what the ad’s about? Or is it just me? It’s for a make of car. It’s so memorable that I can’t recall which make. Which is why they had to write it at the top of the ad below.

Yes, I know this is very definitely a first world issue. I thought this week maybe something a little lighter might amuse.

Ukraine continues to stick it to Putin and his clearly unwilling army. I feel sorry for those Russian kids, forced to fight in a war they don’t want. Let’s hope it’s over soon and the Ukrainians can start to rebuild their country.

Got any favourites of your own? Do let me know. Just press the ‘comments’ button and tell me what you think.

By the way, have you signed up for my monthly newsletter?

  1. Geesje

    Sorry can’t be of help ,watch mostly recorded tv so eliminate adds
    Husband loves watching news ,on 7-and again on abc just in case anything happened in the 30 min he watch it on7
    I spend my time watching latest news haha
    Why can’t they send a car without a person who just had a makeover latest fashion clothes and a well scripted bit of information that is edited by a lot of layers ,and tell you what happened ???????

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.