Commercials backfiring

Cox is currently running a commercial with a couple watching TV, and their movie is “buffering.” The upshot is that they should get some Internet provider with higher speed.

But, when I think about the commercial, the two thoughts that remain are: COX and SLOW INTERNET.

Seems risky to be constantly talking about your competitors “defects” when only mentioning your companies name.

Swiffer ran a bunch of ads where a woman would do away with her broom or mop and start using the Swiffer. The early bunch of commercials always had the discarded tool missing the woman and sadly looking in the window or standing in the rain or having the radio play a song for her while the woman rolled her eyes and closed the drapes, turned off the radio, etc. I commented in the SDMB commercial thread at the time that maybe portraying the broom as the victim and the Swiffer-owning woman as kind of a bitch wasn’t the best way to sell Swiffers.

Eventually someone at their ad agency must have had an epiphany since the ad campaign changed to the woman putting the broom in the shed/garage/attic where it’d immediately meet some other bit of discarded junk and start a romance with it rather than having its heart broken by the woman.

Other than feel-good ads, the vast majority of all advertising is of the form “You have a problem; we have the solution.” Which is carefully designed to have you recognize the problem in your life, then apply their chosen solution. They *do *want their name associated closely with that problem. Just not as the *cause *of that problem.

The challenge for Cox or any other cable provider is the popular wisdom says that their product & their company are both utter shite. And they’re all the same utter shite. So you the viewer start out with the preconception that Cox (or at least your current cable provider and Cox by extension) *is *the cause, not the solution.

As a counterexample, I’ve seen cable ads that do a good job of poking fun at satellite dish TV’s problems with stormy weather. There’s no false connection between the solution and the cause of that problem. Cable does seem totally like the solution.

Not a media ad, but a junk mail ad from an electrical provider, that encourages me to switch to their service, which offers a plan that locks in my rates for a year. Then at the end, it says “at a rate that won’t change at the sole discretion of your current electricity provider”. Umm, if they don’t do the same thing (at their sole discretion), why would I need to choose their plan to lock in my rates?

The Joe Isuzu ads. They were very popular, but they hurt sales, probably because it implied that Isuzu salespeople were liars.

Reminds me of this ad for Ikea lamps.

Molson Beer ran a series of ads in Canada a couple decades ago that featured an immigrant old lady cleaning a latrine. What this had to do with beer now escapes me, but I found the ad so offensive that, to this day, I have never drunk another Molson beer. I used to drink Blue all the time.

Wow. You’re right; that’s some kind of offensive. It better have been intended to be really, really funny but fell flat at least for you. What were they thinking?

I mean the jokes about lagers, and especially US & Canadian ones, being weaker than even pee & good for little more than filling a urinal, are legion. How did they hope this would work out well for them?

Maybe mothers who have little children found the commercial charming (I don’t know), but I was utterly disgusted by a paper towel commercial. (I won’t mention its name because I don’t want to give it more publicity).

Two children are sitting at a counter with large glasses of chocolate milk. One child deliberately starts spilling the milk on the counter and the floor. The children clap and cheer. The mother looks on adoringly with a big smile on her face. Then she comes over and demonstrates how easy it is to wipe up the spill with the paper towel. The voice-over says “Why stop when we’re having so much fun!”

After the first mess is cleaned up, the second child starts spilling milk and clapping and laughting. The mother smiles and grabs another paper towel…

I swear I will boycott that brand of paper towels.

Uhm, I’ve got some news for you…

The new Ritz Cracker commercial has a bunch of people sitting around a table playing cards and joking around. The tagline is, “What’s On The Table Is Never As Important As Who’s Around The Table.” Doesn’t that kind of imply that as long as you’re having a good time you’re willing to eat whatever swill happens to be in front of you? It certainly doesn’t make me want a Ritz.

I recall hearing that this was basically what happened to McDonald’s Archdeluxe. IIRC, the commercial was some little kids talking about how the new sandwich was “grown up food” and therefore awful. They were trying to create the idea that McDonalds served food other than kid’s meals, but all people remembered was a bunch of kids talking about how nasty the sandwich was.

The commercial that starts out with a guy at a pool party bragging to his mates, “I am never getting married!”
Cut to him choosing an engagement ring and then to a scene on a plane saying to his new wife, “We are NEVER having kids.”
Cut to he, his wife and new child sitting in their city apartment with a view, saying, “We are never moving to the burbs!”
Cut to him outside their suburban house washing his classic camaro, saying, “I am never getting one of those!”
Cut to him washing the new minivan in the very same driveway sans cool old classic car, saying, “We are never having another kid.” To which his harried wife responds “I’m pregnant”.
Cut to the idyllic image of the now four of them snuggling on the couch and he says, “I am NEVER letting go.”

What do you think in your head is going to happen next when the exact opposite of everything he said would NEVER happen, HAPPENED?

(Hint: He’s going to LET GO. Cut to a scene of him with some young bimbo in Cozumel while the family goes through divorce.)

I call that Truth in Advertising! :smiley:

I remember those. I did feel kind of bad for the mop (also, borderline squicked at the implication of some sort of romance between a person and a mop).

Not to worry, she was using a contraceptive sponge.

I have no idea what the name of the chain of stores was, but their ad was based on how supernaturally cheap their product was, and the tag line for the ad was “So if you can find this product cheaper anywhere else… buy it!

People did.

There was also F-310, a fuel additive that would make your exhaust clear. They would put a car inside a huge, clear plastic balloon, and the exhaust would inflate the balloon and you could still see through the plastic and out the other side. People pointed out that the exhaust was still just as bad for you, if not worse, than regular exhaust, and yeah, that didn’t end well.

Heh…my wife and I comment on this EVERY SINGLE TIME that commercial comes on. That guy is very bad at predicting the future.

I’m going to shift this over to Cafe Society from IMHO.

Failure of product placement: back when My Name Is Earl was on, there was one episode where Joy, Earl’s white trash ex-wife, desperately wanted one of those “Open Hearts” necklaces (or as I learned on this MB to call it, the “Two Butts” necklace).

Not only was the ad obvious and intrusive, but it made me think: why would anyone want what trashy ol’ Joy wants? If Joy wants one, they must be horribly tacky.