Manic Advertising

Those who know me are probably aware of my issues with the unscrupulous behaviour of many advertisers and marketing agencies. It seems that the evils of this are becoming more and more widespread. I’ve marveled a lot recently at the home-builders in our area and the lengths to which they go to cram hastily assembled cookie-cutter homes down our throats while attempting to make us believe that their purchase will be the culmination of all our dreams. We’re all familiar with the flags and banners that are posted outside of the model homes or at the gateway to a banal new subdivision, but lately they are spreading out.

While making a right turn out of several streets in my neighbourhood the view of oncoming traffic is completely obscured by a minimum of half a dozen sandwich board style signs sitting right out at the roadside for all to fail to avoid. Lately the signs are even placed at staggered intervals so that one can’t help but be overwhelmed by as many corporate slogans as possible. Do these companies truly believe that potentially endangering lives will help cement their brand into anyones brain? Of late, even these signs are apparently far too easy for us pesky shoppers to ignore. I’ve frequently been treated to lengthy traffic slowdowns on major thoroughfares due to a “vehicle” doing nothing more than very slowly towing a large billboard through the street in an apparent attempt to establish brand loyalty. One one occasion the “vehicle” was a large farm tractor, which sported no license plates of any kind and was clearly not traveling between fields. On a second occasion the sign was horse-drawn! I’m not the sort to feel the need to rush anywhere but knowing that traffic is only slowed down in an effort to make me read a billboard really seems absurd.

Here’s a heads-up for the homebuilders; “Despite living in an area of relatively high development, I know of few people who wouldn’t struggle to spit out the name of a builder in their area”. I have no reason to believe that any homebuilders are reading this, but it feels good to get it off my chest without risking the legal ramifications of screaming it at the top of my lungs in a model home. I realize the market may be struggling, and many forms of advertising are employed but is that really worth alienating the portion of your potential client base who are likely to avoid supplying you with custom purely out of spite? Should the need ever arise, I for one will choose a builder who has not gone to enormous lengths to annoy the heck out of me and hopefully anyone who I manage to bend the ear of will think twice as well.

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