I’ve always been a harsh judge of advertising. Perhaps it’s because I work in PR, and know there are often better ways to get a message and / or image across. I don’t know. What I do know is that, from a consumer perspective, some advertisements just go too far.
I’m not even talking about overtly sexual ads, or the simply ridiculous ones. Today it’s advertisements that are overly drawn out that top my list of annoyances.
I went to the theater a few days ago to see a film. Before the films, it’s common to have advertisements shown before previews. It’s bad enough to be subjected to so many of them when you’re paying as much as tickets are going for these days, but Verizon’s ads made the pre-show period absolutely unbearable this time.
There was what must have been (or at least felt like) a freaking five-minute advertisement just to hype up a specific feature available through them. It was something that could have had a nice “wow factor” in a 30-second spot. But no… the damned thing just wouldn’t end.
To make matters worse, as soon as I was letting out a sigh of relief that it was finally over, another (equally long and obnoxious) ad from Verizon started playing! I could have screamed.
Verizon simply overdid it. The ads were so long that they became an annoyance (and these didn’t seem like ads that were designed to be annoying for the sake of getting you to remember them – and if they were, they didn’t work, because I couldn’t tell you much about them now other than how much I despised them). They also purchased too much ad time for the audience they were targeting there. It was nuts.
So what would the smarter move have been? Have a short, clever ad that we would have remembered (because the feature they were pushing actually did look like it could have been cool). Instead, they not only made me forget the ads, but they made me absolutely swear to myself that I’d never ever ever buy anything from Verizon – why would I want to pay for overpriced features and gadgets from a company that’s going to simply squander the money on pathetic advertisements? No thanks. Now isn’t that the reverse of what an advertisement is supposed to make you think? (And for the record, I wasn’t the only person there who seemed quite visibly annoyed.)