Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lamenting in unison

This opens the door for discussion. What is it about most Canadian advertising that is so god awful? Compared to the rest of the world, there appears to be a real lack of sophistication in our advertising. Is this because, as one of my readers suggests, that Canadians themselves are not sophisticated, and that we have no sense of irony? Why are we stuck with outdated models that rely on pure frequency to beat a message into our brains? Is there something wrong with us? Is it true that the Brits have all the answers to everything? We need some discussion on this blog, so lets hear what you have to say.

This beauty is from Australia, where the ads are even worse.


At 3:53 p.m., Blogger molesworth said...

Mike, you're too hard on yourself, really.

Having said that, to me, the United Furniture Warehouse commercial does symbolize all that is bad about advertising here. When I first saw it many years ago, I thought it was a clever parody of 1970s awfulness -- but I've since realized this is not the case. Do they really think this will make people shop there? Personally, I have vowed never to set foot in that store on the sole basis of that dreadful, dreadful ad. OK, they want people to know their store is cheap and cheerful, but so does Ikea and they do it with so much more style.

In the UK they have whole television shows dedicated to such commercials, so that Brits can laugh at how unsophisticated the rest of the world is -- something they love to do. But you have to admit, they do deploy sex and humour far more effectively in advertising, and are more willing to push out those boundaries.

So why the trans-Atlantic divide? The obvious answer is that Brits are more clever and witty -- and better looking, to boot. But there must be more to it.

Is it all down to the role of irony in a culture? (Would it help to add irony to the school curriculum?)
Does the sheer number of channels dumb things down?
Are clients scared of upsetting the public?
Is the North American public more socially and culturally conservative?
Do advertisers think the public are more conservative than they are?
Are they wary of regulators?
Or are budgets just too tight?

Really, I'd like to know.


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