Thursday, July 2, 2009

Advertising Rant

I've not picked on the advertising industry in awhile, so here goes.

I've been hearing different ads lately that talk about "that guy". "That guy" is usually a bumbling, figure of universal scorn; someone who isn't quite all man, somehow. Naturally, use of the product being advertised will save the men from the shame of being "that guy".

For instance, there's a radio spot for STP oil treatment with Richard Petty telling us not to be "that guy". In this instance, "that guy" doesn't know a thing about cars, barely knows how to raise the hood of the car, calls parts of the engine "doohickeys" and "thingamajigs", and so on. You get the picture.

The next buzz word I'm hearing, though not limited exclusively to the realm of actual commercials is "rebrand". From what I can gather from context, "rebrand" means to change one's image, usually used in the context of changing a corporate image.

The mental images I take away from this, however, are skittish already-branded cows running awy from psychotic cowboys holding red-hot branding irons who want to brand them again.

Another trend I've noticed is a fascination with Tuscany region of Italy. Restaurants all over have popped up with Tuscan style dishes of various kinds, I see travel agency ads promoting trips there, I see ads promoting Tuscan style home decorating, and so on.

What's the sudden appeal of Tuscany, I wonder? Twenty years ago, I never saw references to this part of Italy. I imagine it's a temporary thing until the next foreign flavor of the month takes its place, as Tuscany has apparently supplanted the chipotle mania of a few years ago.

/rant over

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