24 November 2007

Yuk, Yuk, Yawn

This is the stuff I rail about when consulting or presenting - a youth sensibility when your target market is supposed to be over fifty:
Tourism campaign featuring ugly, chatty aliens draws critics

For weeks now, a contentious debate has raged among tourism officials here over a new state-financed advertising campaign aimed at attracting vacationers. Instead of highlighting New Mexico's picturesque desert landscapes, art galleries or centuries-old culture, the ads feature drooling, grotesque office workers from outer space chatting about their personal lives …

… to increasingly vocal critics, the ad campaign is strategically clumsy and a possible threat to the well-being of the state's $5.1 billion tourism industry. In other words, while the ads may yield a chuckle or two, the joke is on New Mexico …

… Dale Lockett, president of the state's largest convention and visitors bureau in Albuquerque, addressed the issue at a statewide conference last month … At a keynote luncheon, Lockett told the creators of the ads ... that their handiwork, while innovative, appeals to the wrong audience. Why, Lockett wondered, was the state targeting its centerpiece ad campaign to a younger crowd at the precise moment when the bulk of baby boomers nationwide are reaching the age when they have time and money to travel?

Or maybe I've seen just one too many commercials in my life. I'm jaded. I think this one's dull and unoriginal. Aliens instead of Cavemen yakking it up as if they're just average joes.

Yuk, yuk, yawn.


  1. There's one aspect of this spot that makes it work: Roswell is in New Mexico.

    Get it?

    New Mexico. Aliens. Roswell.

    Oh, you don't get it? Neither will anyone out there in TV land.

    You're right. This is lame.

  2. Just off the top of my head - you could do a spot/campaign with aliens - cutting-edge fly-throughs and fly-overs of New Mexico - with aliens in their saucer amazed at what they're seeing - topping it off with some bit about or reference to Roswell. However - we'd be seeing New Mexico in all its glory.

    The problem is this: Insurance is boring. The cavemen and the gecko and the other nutty spots are fine - because you really don't want to hear about insurance.

    But if you actually have an interesting product/service like New Mexico (it is one of the most beautiful and unique places on the planet) why would you want your audience to take their eyes off it? Why hide it?

    The creatives were simply trying to do something as clever as Kaplan/Thaler's stuff. Even if it were brilliantly funny and witty - it still would be a dumb campaign.


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