The Laziest Ad Copy Ever Written

Well, maybe it’s the spirit of the New Year, but today I actually bypassed the article on bad celebrity drivers for something that’s relevant to what we do here at The Hired Pens

I felt an immediate kinship with the writer of “I Hate You, Blue-Tux-Wearing Viagra Guy!” Like Farhad Manjoo, I don’t have cable TV. Why bother when I have Netflix and now, a website where I can watch shows like The Office and The Daily Show for free? 

Wait, free? How do they make money!?

That’s where the brilliant title of this article comes in. They make money by forcing you to watch two to three Web commercials per episode. And 100% of the time they involve, to quote from the article, a “mischievous smile, powder-blue tux, roses, dancing, four-hour erection.” (Click on “Anniversary.”)

100% of the time? Really?

Well, sort of. What advertisers are doing — please stop! — is buying airtime for the entire show. So what’s the solution? I have some Viagra-inspired ideas for any brands that may be listening:  

  1. Understand our needs: If we’re watching TV on hulu, we’re probably pretty young. This means unless we’re in a May/December romance, we have no use for Viagra.
  2. Spice things up: Quit buying ad time for the entire show — but if you must, at least show us three different spots.
  3. Keep it fresh! Remember: 90% of your audience has ADD … and 90 other vices/devices vying for our attention.
  4. We know when you’re faking: Don’t try to pass off a truncated version of a TV commercial as a Web spot. You’re not fooling anyone.  
  5. Treat us with respect: Lines like “The pizza way to snack” for Totino’s Pizza Rolls makes us feel like you think we’re stupid. And we’re not. We have a lot of buying power, so put some powerful creative behind your ads and we’ll listen. 

Okay, now you tell us: Which Web spots just drive you insane? And which ones are really great? Or just so bad they’re good …

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