Lazy advertising is my pet peeve. I hate it even more than bad advertising. At least bad advertising is out there giving it a shot. It’s trying. But lazy advertising? Lazy advertising doesn’t try. He relies on a few cheap tricks to get the message across and expects us to pretend like we don’t know what’s up. But we do.
Lazy ads come in many different forms, but for today I’m going to limit myself to only complaining about two of them: the trope and the celebrity endorsement.
It’s not just the oral hygiene industry that we have to call out for recycling dull clichés in their advertising. Perfume ads all have weird, sexual undertones – no, really, what is with that?
Cleaning products are always advertised by anal-retentive white women
And for some reason only cute animals are qualified to sell us toilet paper
Diet ads are the worst though.
They have this bizarre obsession with women laughing while eating salad (this is so hackneyed that even the memes about it are getting old). Laughing or smiling at salad is not something that anyone (no matter how they identify) would do. Salad isn’t funny. There’s no point trying to make it look like a bundle of laughs. After all, we know very well that you don’t make friends with salad.
All these ads strike me as unbearably cliché and boring, and I can’t be the only one to think so. They’ve been done to death and yet their zombie corpses are still stumbling around our TV sets and bumping into each other in our magazines. It’s high time we put them out of their misery. At the end of the day, if you can see an obvious pattern in how a product is marketed, don’t market it that way. Selling toothpaste? Put the sterile colour palate and lab coat away and make an ad that features our many and varied smiles in all their crooked, snaggle-toothed glory. Toilet paper? Try a joke instead of a puppy. This may be the one instance where toilet humour is acceptable in a public forum.
Take the infamous PooPurri
And SquattyPotty ads
Someone please explain to me why Isla Fischer is advertising ING? Is she a finance expert? No. Does she bank with them? I doubt it. Is she in any way associated with ING? No. The only relevance she might have is that her hair colour matches the logo. That’s not good enough.
Random, unqualified celebrity advertising is huge. Nicole Kidman’s no nutritionist and yet she’s the face of Suisse, Tara Reid appeared in a Dodo ad – WHYYYYYYYY??
And Lara Bingle was once called upon to grossly embarrass the entire country
Australian marketers also have a penchant for using male sports starts to advertise everything from dandruff shampoo to solar panels – basically all the things they have no level of expertise in whatsoever.
The idea that we’ll blindly purchase anything sold to us by someone famous, no matter how unrelated the product may be to that particularly celebrity, or how unqualified they might be to sell it, drives me mad. This isn’t high school and consumers won’t just buy something because a popular kid says it’s cool.
Lazy advertising wears a lot of different disguises, but it likes these two best, making them the most obvious. You’re basically holding up a neon sign with ‘NO SHITS GIVEN’ written on it.
Put the sign down – come have a chat and we can come up with some ideas that don’t just rely on Mad Men-era logic.