I’ve written before about online ads that confuse and/or scare me. It’s time for an update on this topic.
Since writing that post over two years ago, online ads haven’t gotten any less weird. Case in point: While checking out a minor league baseball team’s schedule, I saw two ads bookmarking the month of August.
Ad #1 features an older gentleman sporting a crew cut and apparently suffering a heart attack. Quite possibly a fatal heart attack. He is clearly in pain and in no condition to do much of anything beyond grimace. And yet the copy admonishes him to “Stop being lazy.” The ad goes on to suggest that he look into grants so he can get his degree.
Now, the protagonist seems a bit old to be going back to college. But that minor flaw aside, his focus really should be on his health, not his education. At least until someone applies the defibrillator.
Ad #2 sends an equally incongruous message. Again, the advertiser is pushing the notion of lifelong learning. This time, an otherwise dignified-looking woman is shown wearing a leotard, leggings, pointy things (fish fins?) on her wrists, superhero boots … and a police light on her head. That blinks when you’re viewing the actual ad.
Um … huh?
I don’t know what conclusion to draw from all this, beyond the fact that whoever’s creating these ads either is on some serious hallucinogens or has insights into human psychology that are far more sophisticated than mine. I’m betting on the former.