Confessor Fred Garvin, Man About Town, emailed me some thoughts on some themes regular Confessors will find familiar. I know not everyone is anxious to read more about Ticket advertising on this site, and most of these ads have been dissected here before, but I am very thankful, in this season for being thankful, for contributions from readers. And Fred has some interesting takes, not all of which I share, but, hey, that's why they make vanilla and Cherry Garcia.
But I do like the "sci-fi collectibles" line and the Jimmy John's ads featuring Ed.
Okay, okay, I'll try to give advertising commentary a break for awhile, although I may not be able to resist a new post on not-known-as-The-Bulldog Kelly McClure sometime soon.
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I’ve got a few random thoughts on Ticket advertising.
First, do no harm: There are two Ticket sponsors whose advertisements make me want to spend lavishly...on their competitors. First is Meador Dodge Chrysler, etc. (“We simply do it better, at Meador.”) This is the satirical one: Unethical sales guy sticks the customer with exotic, needless up-charges, while the customer complains futilely, sounding vaguely like one of the grown-ups in the Charlie Brown cartoons.
ANNOYING. Not funny. Over-the-top in a way that would make Jim Carrey blush. And played way, way too often.
The second one is Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House. The guy isn’t the problem. Gina Cook is the problem. (Don’t throw shoes. I know that some people like her, but she’s nails on the chalkboard for me.) And the problem is her barely contained giddiness at how funny she thinks she’s being. Each commercial, she’s on the verge of “breaking,” as they say in show biz. Breaking is normally fun for the audience, because we’re laughing, and we get a kick out of watching the talent try not to laugh, too. But it’s less fun when we’re not laughing, and instead are wondering, “Why does Gina think this is so funny?” (Side note: Gina doesn’t have the vocal timbre to say, “Crab claws...yeah!” at 75% of her maximum volume. My recommendation: Let the dude say it, or drop the line altogether.)
Now please don’t get me wrong: I love humor in advertising. I’ve found the Jimmy John’s spots (fast delivery, fast talking) amusing. And there’s the one ad with the line, “Please don’t handle the sci-fi collectibles.” But those ads are smart and know their audience. The Meador and Del Frisco ads are pedestrian and tone-deaf. Revise and resubmit, please.
Bart Reagor, are you okay? We haven’t heard from this guy in a while, and it’s got me wondering if he decided to take a mental health break in the country. ‘Cuz those ads he was doing a while back were getting downright weird. There was this bit: “You like the Internet? Remember when we didn’t have that? Remember when we would just stare at our computer screens and wish the Internet would be invented? And then it got invented, and we all liked it? Do you remember that?” And how about the stuff where he sounds like he’s trying to talk his girlfriend out of dumping him: “I’m one of the best guys you’ll ever meet. Give me a chance. Don’t be a hater...” I sometimes wonder how many of these spots are cut with Bart speaking directly into the mirror.
Learning from your mistakes. Occasionally, I wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, thinking about that first Kelly McClure “bulldog” spot. Wow, was that bad. I did the math once, and she said the word “aggressive” 2.4 times per second in that thing. She also invited you to check out her pics online (which of course I did, purely for medicinal purposes, and while she’s lovely, the “hire me b/c I’m hot” pitch is kind of insulting). The whole campaign was in your face like whipped cream at a pie-eating contest. It also reinforced a lot of ugly stereotypes about lawyers.
Thankfully, Ms. McClure has toned things way down. I like the softer Kelly.
All I can say is, well done. Good things happen when you’re not too proud to learn.