"WTF-moments" #1

You know those moments when you just mumble to yourself "what the FUCK?!". You've been introduced to someone or something that blows your mind in a positive or negative way and you have to sit back a second to actually compute that input.

Since Second Life offers us some of that stuff on a daily basis I thought I'd share some of it with you.

So I'm advertising in Second Life. I think I'm spending about 10.000 per week on classifieds and I'm somewhat happy with how they work (they _do_ work, which says something about a service ultimately coming from Linden Lab).

It all started with woman sending me an instant message.

Woman: Hi, I saw some of your classifieds and I wanted to ask you if you're interested in a unique form of advertising
Me: Hi... define "unique"
Woman: let me send you something...

So she sends me a notecard about sandwich board advertising. I've never seen it before but that's how it looks:

She was obviously working for a company that hires newbs to wear sandwich boards wherever they go and get paid for that. So the conversation continues:

Me: no thanks
Woman: Oh, may I ask why?
Me: I think it's degrading
Woman: Hehe, isn't every advertisement in a way? All is fair in love and advertising...
Me: I obviously seem to have a different opinion about advertising
Me: but thanks for messaging me
Woman: OK

There's a twist: she has a picture of herself in a bikini at an automobile exhibition with "her friends" as her real life picture in her profile. She obviously works as a hostess/model IRL.
So it dawned on me that she obviously likes to be degraded since she's working the advertising business IRL and even in Second Life. Moreso, I think there's actually a big market for people who love to be degraded with SLs huge BDSM scene.

Me - I mayored in marketing and I honestly believe that advertisement shouldn't be degrading at all. I believe that ads are to inform people about products. Not to get them to buy them but to remind them of them and help them choose whenever they need to actually buy stuff because they need it. There's a guy who nailed it pretty well, go read about it here.

I'd like to end this post with my favourite ad. Decide for yourself if advertisement has to be degrading.


Viola Gemini hat gesagt…

Excellent post, though I wonder how morals uphold for EFFECTIVE immoral advertising ;)

Then there is the matter of context, as 20 years ago the advertising world frowned on subvertising, seeding and product placement - while now they are as common as commercials.

IKEA launched a series of advertisements -the 'tidy up' campaign- that could be described as immoral, possibly degrading but they where a hit, and still are in their market, largely because their commercials got banned from TV.

IKEA - Tidy up

Juliet Ceres hat gesagt…

I don't think those commercials are degrading at all. But about effective immoral advertising: we'll prolly see that in a few years but I doubt I'm gonna like it or use it if I can help it.
I think since advertisement always includes a good part of manipulation one has to use it responsibly. If used in an irresponsible way, it comes to bite your back sooner or later.

Viola Gemini hat gesagt…

Its not about the commercial itself, its about the campaign. Their tactic was to get the advertisements banned from television from the start by using shots a large enough number of people would find offensive. Then get media exposure on the ban and give their videos a viral effect, 'plugging' them on youTube. Thereby reaching a potentially larger interested audience then they would ever have on TV with just the commercials.

I think its dangerous for a marketer to be policing morals, as its a thin line between getting the most out of your product and being responsible to your potential customers. Marketers lack the required objectivity to make such decisions as they have an interest in both sides.