Denise McDonald Dorman

Posts Tagged ‘TV Advertising’

Why I Think Nationwide Insurance Company’s TV Ads SUCK: When Advertising Is BADvertising

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 at 2:34 am

I’m opening my drawer in the “WTF Were They Thinking?” file.  Exhibit A is the misguided, jack-assed advertising campaign costing Nationwide Insurance millions of dollars. Just call me Addy Oakley –  The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World campaign is in my crosshairs and my trigger finger is twitchin’ to shoot holes in it.

The insurance industry in general has a long, storied history of low-to-no consumer confidence. Who among us didn’t cheer for the young lawyer outsmarting the sleazy, fly-by-night insurance company in John Grisham’s book (and movie) The Rainmaker? Most folks I know would rather have hot coffee thrown in their face, followed by a lit cigarette and a chaser of muriatic acid, rather than endure an evening with an insurance agent.

So what does Nationwide Insurance (or let’s be clear, their ad agency) do? They take the worst possible stereotype of an insurance agent and make that guy the company’s icon! WTF?!? Why is it that I, the voice of reason, am not sitting in on these pitch meetings?

Take, for example, this ad. Would this guy, who blatantly lies to a naive woman (thanks, guys, for marginalizing women once again with that overdone stereotype…guess you fancy yourselves modern-day Mad Men) about her singing abilities, be someone with whom you’d trust your insurance decisions?!? And how many women do you know (whose careers don’t involve pole dancing) that are willing to meet some strange insurance agent beneath a shady tree in a city park?

Or this ad, in which he schmoozes yet another gullible woman–apparently the only kind willing to meet with smarmy insurance agents–via his faked phone call to corporate, with the pronouncement that he’s changing the company name from Nationwide to Nation Pam to honor her? WTF?!?

News flash: The last thing customers want is to be patronized by yet another dishonest insurance company. We’re already up to our assholes in those alligators. Okay, maybe the last thing customers want is the World’s Smarmiest Spokesperson in the World performing his 3-handed freakazoid shadow puppet show on their wall. Only Jerry Sandusky could freak me out more.


In WriteBrain Media on March 11, 2010 at 6:28 am

Over the holidays, I got a huge kick out of Old Navy’s talking mannequin TV ads. The new ads? Not so much. I get it that they’re doing some sort of vote-me-off-the-island throwback, but it just doesn’t work. If you can explain them to me, go for it! There’s live action, there’s mannequins and I’m just left confused by this big bowl of weird.

I’m one of those freaks who actually LIKES to watch live television and see the ads. I get anxious when my hubby fast-forwards past the ads on our DVR’d programs. I know and appreciate the hundreds of thousands of dollars, attention to detail and hard-fought creative that went into all of those ads. When they work, they’re magic. I could watch them again and again. Remember the liquor ad two years ago with the guy buzzing around in his fly costume, having pillow fights with hot babes, terminated all too soon by his short life span? I really MISS that ad. They chose the perfect music bed. Everything worked. Magic.

Another puzzlement? Why does Burger King continue investing in a series of ads with that creepy masked king? I have asked at least 50 people of all ages, sexes, religions and ethnicities–they all find the campaign creepy and bewildering. He would have made a great Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King’s “It,” but I can’t believe that campaign actually sells burgers.

As your humble pop culture correspondent, it’s my solemn duty to offer up these analyses based on my years of consumerism and couch potato’d-ness. Feel free to share yours with me – I look forward to your feedback, and dare I hope?, your interpretation of those Old Navy ads.

Your Humble Pop Culture Correspondent