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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Self-Referential ads...

Okay, okay, yes. Ads are clearly self-referential in that they point to the product and scream at you to BUY IT NOW, BEFORE IT'S SOLD OUT DAMMIT! That is the nature of adverts, and the whole point of their existence.

But CJ, I hear you say, clearly you wouldn't be talking about this if it wasn't something truly horrifying. Tell us, oh great and wise Baron von Advertsberg, what have you turned up today?

Yes, children, I have another truly mind-bending gem of promotional material to deride and dissect for your entertainment. (Incidently, you may refer to me as Baron von Advertsberg at any time it seems appropriate.)


This weird example of marketing comes to us courtesy of the Cheezburger Network site called Oddly Specific.

I literally cannot parse exactly what this is trying to say. There is a point to the repetition, but damned if I can figure out what it is. I almost think someone made some kind of typo at the printers, and it was supposed to say something like, "If it's not Boar's Head, it's not quality" - which isn't grammatically correct anyway, but at least you get the idea of why you should care about and buy this product.


  • Repetition, although it may seem 'hip' or 'cool' and something all the kids are doing these days with the rap noise they like to listen to, is not a legitimate strategy for attracting customers. It's just annoying.
  • What the snot are they actually selling?! There's space above and below the writing, but they don't even mention a product. Is it meat? Cheese? Is Boar's Head the name of the shop or just a brand name? Give us a clue, cmon!
  • Minus ten points for clearly showing you know what punctuation and grammar is, and yet you still decided to leave out a comma and a full stop for no reason and capitalize words in the middle of the sentence.
  • Minus a million for just not making any damn sense at all.


People. Please. If you can't bring yourself to describe what you're selling, at least make it easy to understand. The very last thing you want in your prospective customers is confusion over what you do or make. Confused people do not spend money on stuff, and if for some reason they do, there's a good chance they'll be back to make your life miserable once they figure out this isn't what they wanted at all. You're hurting your employees! And your business! Won't someone think of the minimum wage minions?!

When I take over the world and assume my throne as Baron von Advertsberg, Lord of All He Surveys, people who do ads like this will be locked in a small room for a day and forced to watch The Little Mermaid on a loop.

(People who do infomercials, of course, will be contestants on a new Survivor-style reality show set wherever on earth gets the most rain.)

CJ, over and out

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