Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The HeadOn Imperative

Commercials really annoy me. I don't know if I have some aural equivalent of an eidetic memory or what, but when I get some jingle in my head, it's hard to get it out, and it occupies much of my passive cycles.

I have no eyelids on my ears, so I can't keep jingles out. When I'm bombarded with something on TV or the radio, I feel like I'm being disrespected. Instead of appealing to my conscious mind with reasoning, the perpetrators are attempting to embed associations into my long-term memory. I've noticed a few tactics recently that particularly bother me:
  • Terrible music - why would I ever want to hear a song some hourly studio musician wrote extolling the virtues of some laundry detergent? Some songs should not be written.
  • Commandeering classic music - I can't listen to Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" anymore without picturing a Cadillac motoring down a dusty road.
  • Repetitive commands - Anyone seen the HeadOn commercials? They're shameless. Why don't you just point a gun to my head and get me to memorize your stupid application instructions? That's what it feels like. I won't buy that stuff specifically because of those commercials. And of course, they have to fold in on themselves by releasing a new commercial that has an actor state, "I can't stand your commercial, but your product is amazing!"
  • Rapid-talk legalese - This is an old one that's used on radio a lot. If you have to double the duration of your spot by adding in disclaimers read by John Moschitta, you should rethink your approach.

A simple request: Please, just respect my intelligence and tell me what your product does and what its strong points are. I know, I know, I'm asking way too much. As on Slate:
Maybe a small percentage of us will snootily refrain from buying HeadOn—as an act of protest against an ad we find irritating—but this is a small price to pay when millions of other folks are now familiar with HeadOn, curious about it, and unlikely ever to forget its name.

It's the same reason spam works -- some small clueless percentage of us think it's a good idea to buy some "v1agara" or "Codeinee no dr lvisit".

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