The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

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Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

Feb 9, 2010 | Op-eds | 0 comments

I’ve always thought the most effective adverts are the ones that get you talking – I remember starting at Uni and seeing a ‘New York Deli’ mayonnaise one that caused offence, but was still hilarious.  And then the ‘Brains’ from the Thunderbirds dancing one for Drench, which was a bottled water, and caused a lot of conversation between our friends.

But there’s a difference between conversation and annoyance.

Tune Out, Turn Off

There’s two adverts right now that really annoy me – the Windows 7 advert, and the ‘And it’s from Glade you know’ adverts.
They’re both obnoxious, pandering and patronizing – which makes it even worse that I’m even giving them attention.

Windows 7  – I’m a PC and Windows 7 was *never* my idea

The ‘I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea’ adverts are probably remotely true in that people have bitched and whined about Vista since before it was released.  So if you consider the BILLIONS of bug feedbacks ‘thier’ idea, then sure, they created Windows 7.  The truth of the matter is that Windows 7 was designed around feedback that we all made – alongside some things that Windows 7 may or may not have asked people about.

I’m actually unsure whether the people that say they’ve suggested the features really did – but it feels so fake and so contrived that I doubt it.  And though I’m now a Windows 7 user (because I felt that it was an improvement on Vista, mainly on the strength of the beta tested product) those adverts are almost enough to make me switch, permanently, to a Mac. (that and the ’switch’ advert is another funny one – done right).  You’ll see how close they are to the ‘Im a windows 7 adverts.

And it’s from Glade, you know

Oh my god, another advert that I hate because there’s some stupid idea that every stay at home mother does the things that the inane woman does.  As a SAHM, I can say, flat out, that I don’t care how the house smells when people show up – clean is better than overpowering sweet candles, unless I’m really in the mood for them.   As for the ‘it’s that clever’ – clearly, Glade aren’t.
A cleaning product or home comfort product shouldn’t focus on patronising anyone – we know it smells good, we know it is worth it if we need that ‘comfort’ – but why not sell the comfort rather than the concept that it’s that clever.  That phrase doesn’t say ’simplicity, it says ‘you can’t remember when you set it off last, and we need to build in a function that fires it off unless you press the button on the front.  Personally, the only Glade device I have is facing the wall so it doesn’t go off every time we wander past, and I press the button when I want it.

Why this is Important

You might think that the fact that advert annoy me isn’t important – but in both cases, I’m part of their ‘target’ demographic, at least on the surface.  My problem with Windows 7 is that they are dumbing down operating systems, and yet expecting people to manage increasingly complex and powerful systems with them – and the two don’t meld well.  The fact that I’m tech support to my parents tells me that Windows 7 hasn’t helped.  As for Glade – I’ll only ever buy it when it’s on offer because my house smells clean enough with the polish and all of the sprays that we use to clean glass, and the floor and everything else.  And none of my friends are so shallow that they care about whether the house smells of Gardenia and Wildflower.

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