"Hemorrhoids. Cockroaches. And Warts. Lonely nights. Smoking's ravages. AIDS. All the ads promised relief from these things, but where was the relief from these ads?" Page 112*The crazy man asks a good question. Ads are so prevalent in our lives that they have to shout louder and be ever more invasive just to get our attention. We even have ads showing up on our social media sites, not just as sidebars, but as actual profiles where they try to "connect" with us. Maybe...just maybe advertising has gone too far.
Don't get me wrong, I love learning about new products and what not, but I also miss the days when a man had no idea what the hell Vagasil was because they only advertised in women's magazines. If you ask me, those were good days. And really, I don't need to know about erectile dysfunction. Grandpa having sex is of no concern to me and really, I'd rather not be reminded about it on the rare occasion I catch the news.
And let's talk more about Facebook. I do follow certain companies on Facebook because often it's a good way to get information about specials or deals or sometimes even hiring opportunities, but then there are the companies that try to present a persona to you and don't give more information about their products. For a while I was following a national pizza chain and pretty much every post was "I'm watch Jersey Shore tonight and having pizza. I'm watching American Idol. Gee that thing with Kanye West sure was funny, I laughed so hard I almost threw up on my pizza!"
Look, it's great that you want to try and connect with your customers on a more personal level, but tell me more about your product. I already know I like eating pizza and watching TV at the same time, what I don't know is that you donated X amount to charity or that one of your pizza delivery guys has put over 100,000 miles on their car in under three years delivering pizza. These things are a little more relevant and little more interesting. I stopped following that particular company because I wasn't learning anything from their ads.
Maybe I wouldn't have such a problem with their prevalence in my life if they weren't trying to sell me something without actually telling me why their product and/or company is better. How many times do I have to sit through an ad and wonder what the hell it's for before the logo actually flashes on the screen? It might be nice if advertisers were actually required to include relevant information in their ads. Don't have anything new to say about your product? Well...maybe we don't really need to hear about it.
I have to say, with as little TV as I watch and the adblockers on my internet browser, I am very rarely overwhelmed with advertising when I'm in a familiar situation. I don't know how people get through a regular day being bombarded by advertising from TV, radio, internet, buses, and all the rest. I get tired just thinking about all the bright colors and screaming. Oh hey, you think they'll ever put ads in leased eBooks? Yeah, that'd be fun.
Good review over at the LA Times. Sorry bloggers, I just liked this one better than anything else I found.
LibsNote: Copy checked out from the library via Overdrive Media.
*For eBook page numbers I use what is listed on the digital page if available. Otherwise I refer to the page bar at the bottom of my eReader.