August 02, 2010

If you can't do an ad right, can I trust the claims you make?

I saw this ad on Vancouver's Canada Line.

Initially, the purpose of the ad stumped me. Was it a new approach to funeral home advertising?

Nope, it's for Vancouver's airport.

Then there's the weird grammar. "Depart flawless"? What the heck is that supposed to mean?

It all caused me to wonder, who the heck approved this thing?


Megan said...

I keep meaning to do a post about this sort of thing. I have actually been in the room when ad campaigns are developed. Always over a period of many months.

It starts after months of careful thought about the need for an ad campaign. First you need to identify the problem and convince the people with money to agree that ads will fix it. (This is almost never a sure thing, but WHATEVER.)

Then you need to get your team together. It should include a bunch of people from different parts of your organisation. None of them should have any creative experience. You all agree that an ad campaign is a great idea, and that it's perfect that you have money for it.

Then you bring an ad agency in to help. The ad guys, all looking like they just rolled out of bed, come back with a proposed ad campaign. It is eye-grabbing and looks like it might actually work. It is GREAT, JUST GREAT. needs a little tweaking. This word isn't quite right. Oh, and that one, too. And while you're at it, can you change the photo so the little girl is looking in the other direction?

The ad guys, looking skeptical, agree to try to do what the committee wants. They come back with a new campaign theme. It is PERFECT (except that it now sucks, but you can't tell that to the committee, because it's PERFECT). Now it's time for a presentation to senior management.

Senior management is not happy at all. They want this word changed. And the background. And the whole theme is wrong.

The ad guys get back to work after warning that this was not in their original quote. They come back with ads that are boring and weird, but are ABSOLUTELY PERFECT FOR US YOU GUYS ARE GREAT.

The ads go up on billboards. Nobody pays attention to them. The original problem continues.

Opa said...

Actually, it is all a question of semantics. "Flawlessly" or "flawless" could both be equally correct depending on whether it is meant to be an adverb or an adjective.

If the idea was to describe the act of departing, it should be "flawlessly".

If the idea was that you are without flaw while you are departing, then flawless would be correct, as in "his attire was flawless while he departed".