Archive for the ‘Completely confusing’ Category

Dancing Girls = Good Advertising?!

August 20, 2009

Picture 3 You’ve seen these ads, right? They are usually advertising a refinance, or for moms to go back to school, or some other diluted version of a presidential plan. The messaging is very clear in all of them, and isn’t anything new. But why the dancing girls?

Honestly, I am trying to find some virtue in the dancing girls. I’m trying to find some reason for their being, other than some movement on the page to capture attention. But if the advertiser is trying to get my attention why wouldn’t they create some movement that is actually relevant to the ad content? Is that such a crazy idea? Is it so radical to think that an ad’s imagery and content might want to have something in common?Picture 5

So we have these girls dancing on the page. I’ve even seen some silhouetted men dancing. These guys seem a little Chippendale-esque to me. And again, I’m not exactly clear on what their purpose is. But I’m seeing more and more dancing people promoting loans, college degrees and even auto insurance.

So I’m wondering if there’s a common thread. Other than the tackiness of these irrelevant dancing people that is. Does anyone know? Is it some financial institution using these disparate ideas to get people to borrow money for school, homes, or…. car insurance?
Picture 4
Once I clicked on one of the return-to-school ads to see where it went, it seems to be a searchable database of schools and areas of study. I couldn’t see if it had a financial tie-in. And if they are several separate businesses, why would they all use the same, silly idea?

These ads all get an A+ in tackiness and irrelevance. And with their occasional use of Comic Sans, their regular use of Relfex Blue, and their inability to come up with a concept, they all get a big F in design. Don’t you agree?

How To :: Create Customer Confusion

January 6, 2009
Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

I saw a coupon for this product this weekend and immediately thought, “Since when did Dial start making yogurt?”

It’s not uncommon for companies to branch out into new markets. Really, what company today doesn’t sell bottled water? So it’s not unreasonable to think that The Dial Corporation, known best for soap products, would create a dairy product. Yogurt is a popular food item after all, and businesses need all the revenue they can get. And vanilla honey yogurt sounds delicious!

But once your initial confusion subsides, you’ll see that this is, in fact, soap! No, it’s not yogurt at all. It is soap with yogurt in it! Genius, right? Perhaps. But the package design, while pretty, is confusing! How many consumers will think (as I did — a packaging and graphic design veteran) that Dial has gone into the yogurt business and buy this thinking it’s edible? Of the people who buy this thinking it’s yogurt, many of them (most I hope) will figure out that it’s soap before ingesting any. (The bottle is really a standard body wash bottle.) But what about the hand full of consumers who, for whatever reason, don’t figure out their mistake before trying some? What about the few who will actually consume this product? Can eating soap make you sick? I don’t know but I’m sure I don’t want to find out.

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