Just a question

I watch television sometimes. Usually I do it with a touch of guilt… actually, that isn’t true at all, I don’t feel guilty at all, but sometimes I worry that other people think I’m wasting time. I’m like a bear, I have to relax while I can, I’m storing up energy for, y’know, the seven lean years.

Anyway, I was watching television and an advert came and this poor businessman is getting hassled. There is someone at the door, knocking, and our businessman locks the door and hides. Someone is saying “how much software would you like to buy?” The guy eventually tries to break the window and can’t and crawls into the false ceiling to get away from the guy trying to sell him software.

I had no idea that door-to-door salesmen were creating such anxiety in the world of business.

This ad, the one that interrupted my television watching, was trying to sell me software. I think. I don’t know, I was so mystified at the apparent rash of inter-office door-to-door software salesmen.

I mean, here’s the problem with spam and at-home calling and all of that. Television advertisers have figured out that you don’t actually need to sell a product to sell a product. You have to make people laugh, or make people feel something, and then mention the product’s name.

You can say “two thumbs up” all you want when advertising a movie, but even better is if you show all the jokes and then mention the movie’s name. Everyone gets so pissed that previews give away the movie, but if they don’t make you feel like you’ve seen a movie, you won’t go. Studies that I can’t cite have proved this.

Two previews out right now, one starring Jessica Alba (a relative newcomer and B-list star) and the other starring Meg Ryan (an established superstar). The Alba movie has all of this footage of her dancing and looking hot as frickin’ hell. The Ryan movie shows her, out of focus and in a bath-tub, and the word “Sexy!” (from a Jeremy Lyons review or something) keeps popping up.

I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that the Alba movie does better in the theaters. And I’ll give you double or nothing that the Ryan movie is better and gets better Oscar buzz and better reviews.

If it is possible to send me spam that I enjoy, I’ll enjoy your brand. I can’t imagine what that would be, but you should do that instead of offering me guarantees about how much I’ll enjoy my mortgage or breast implants.

Advertising plays is therefor damn near impossible. All we can tell you is what other people say about it, we can’t make ads that make you feel the way you feel when you are in the theater. Kinda weird, and kinda cool, but the only way you will know if you want to see a show is by going to see the show.