I consider myself a very cynical person about advertising. I know it’s crucial for product promotion, keeping the economy going, and all that. But it often seems like people are trying to trick you into doing something. And sometimes, they truly are. Or the advertiser assumes that you’re an idiot. And sadly, there may be enough idiots out there who actually will buy the product, perpetuating the ad stupidity cycle. And possibly worst of all, a lot of it seems like pure lies, plain and simple. The old-school, foot in the door, say anything, keep the relentless pressure going even if the subject/victim is clearly indicating that they’re not interested – this approach is incredibly annoying, but still widely practiced.
Fortunately, it seems that a lot of ad execs now understand how cynical people are, and have adapted. I’m finding that more and more ads are actually fun to watch, and I never thought I’d say that. Wit, creativity, and charm seem to be coming back into style. How quaint! Verizon had an ad where two young kids were very slowly and patiently telling their parents how to use a cell phone. The parents had the innocent, nervous look of children on their way to the first day of school. The reversal of roles and the spot-on acting made it absolutely hilarious.