Friday, November 25, 2011

Shopping Madness

We will all stipulate that the holiday shopping season has arrived.

Here's a question to ponder: Do the big box stores really think that having repetitive and, let's face it, insufferable commercials running on television will really make us appear at their businesses with wallets in hand? Do they think we are trained to respond to the obnoxious and simply hand over our money?

Over the years we have responded to certain advertising techniques which now sound ridiculous. If you recall, in the 1950s drama and suspense were created annually over the unveiling of the new car models. Some dealerships would actually tape over the showroom windows with butcher paper so that no one could get an early glimpse. There was hoopla about the new models, festive events including an unveiling and even door prizes. People took the bait and lined up to see the new cars. (That doesn't mean that they would stampede to spend money on the new models, but they demonstrated curiosity and were treated royally for looking.)

Consumers are drawn to products which contain words on their labels like "new" and "improved." These words indicate that something is better than before and we are compelled to find out what change has occurred.

It would seem that the best thing an advertiser can hope for is that "buzz" would be generated about an event or bargain price. It's logical that advertisers are hoping the "buzz" is positive rather than negative.

Now that the holiday madness is underway, I wonder if advertisers have asked the public whether we like an ad and whether our feelings about the ad will impact where we shop. Seems to me that how people respond to ads might be important.

There are some ads running right now that are so obnoxious that when they appear on the screen, one of the following things occurs:
- I hit the mute button and look away
- I begin channel hopping
- I leave the room immediately

If I were an advertiser spending big bucks to run commercials, these reactions could be considered counterproductive.

Mr./Ms. Advertiser, please try to avoid running ads which include people I would not engage in conversation and most certainly would not allow into my home. These include:
- Extremely hyperactive women focused on getting to the bargains first
- Women with high-pitched, nasal voices who insult the viewer's intelligence
- Rude families pushing or shoving one another at the table

Most of us watching prime time television are over the age of 6, so please treat us with a little respect.

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