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closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

I’ve been ired by a few television ads lately, and I think it’s time to vent.

I just watched a Circuit City ad that made me realise something: contrary to real life, everyone in ads can touch-type. The truth is, very few people in real life can touch-type. I can (more or less), but I know a lot of people who can’t. A lot of people. A lot. Yet, everyone on T.V. seems to be able to =look at the screen= when they type, instead of the keyboard.

Moving on…

Yesterday I saw an ad where this guy is snowed in at an airport. He calls his wife/fiancée/girlfriend and tells her that he won’t be able to make it home for Christmas. We also learn that it’s Christmas eve. He pulls out a little black box and inside is a diamond necklace. He looks as though he has an idea, then jumps up and runs off. Fade to black with a graphic that reads something like, “find out what happens at”

So I visited, because the spot piqued my interest. What would you expect to find on the website? What I expected to find was an extended version of the video where the guy gets home somehow. But no. When you get to the website, you are presented with a map. The first video you watch is the T.V. spot. Then you have to follow this stupid, 15-point trail along the map to see how the guy gets home. Most of the points are audio, not video, and the few video clips that you do get to see are so pointless that I wonder why they even bothered to shoot them.

The problems that the guy runs into are pretty legitimate, but in my opinion, how he gets out of the situations are cop-outs on the part of the writer(s). It seems like he can’t move more than a few miles at a time on the map, yet suddenly, the last leg of his journey just flies by as if by magic.

BUT! Absolutely worst of all is the message I got when I clicked on the final point: “See how the journey ends in 7 days.”

That’s right, all that work with no payoff. Their whole campaign was for naught.

To be honest, I was bored three clicks in. What started out as an ad that made me curious and left me wanting to see more, quickly degraded into a lackluster experience. Will I go back in seven days to see how it ends? I haven’t decided yet, but considering how the whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth, I’m leaning toward not returning.

Actually, the worst part of it all was that after all that crap, I couldn’t figure out how to access the rest of the site so I could write a letter of complaint (I have since figured out how). Bad for business? You bet. Three of the most sought-after goals in web design are interactivity, longevity of visit, and repeat traffic. While they’re striving to achieve all three of these, they’re not going about it the right way. In my personal and professional opinion, this site is actually driving business away. Obviously, I can’t say that for certain since I don’t have access to the server logs. However, I consider myself a =very= web-savvy user, and if I found the site difficult to use, I can’t imagine how “average” users must feel.

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  1. 1. They don’t teach touch-typing in high school anymore? Since when?

    2. Diamonds. She’ll pretty much have to.

    3. I’m interested in upgrading my twenty eight point eight kilobaud Internet connection to a one point five megabit fiber-optic T-1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that’s compatible with my token ring Ethernet LAN configuration?

  2. 1. They teach it, but few people bother to learn it.

    2. Damn straight.

    3. See #3.

  3. For “3. See #3” do you in fact mean “3. See #2?” There are so few time wheni get to correcto you that i relish in the opurtunity.

    As far as comercials that force you to log on to the internet to see how they end, I have always hated them. I never bother with it mainly for fear of extreme diappointment and they usually force me to scream at teh computer screen “Dear good give me back those 20 minutes! I could have read a chapter in a book instead! Let me read the chapter!”

    Yes it would take me 20 minutes to find the link and loook at the ad. I’m sad and I admit it.

    I’m sure there are more than enough mistakes for you to correct in my post.

  4. For “3. See #3” do you in fact mean “3. See #2?”

    No. Damn.

  5. So am I right or not?

    No utilice su magia de lujo del ordenador para confundirme, Senor.

  6. Yeah, you’re right. And what the hell language is that? Looks like pseudo-Spanish.

  7. Wow, Phoenix, #3 was =JUST= on T.V.

    Kickass. -)

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