Flying home from my little vacation I had a chance to check out billboards and posters in what seemed like dozens of eateries and I have to say: Some of them are wicked lame.
Take the fuel that “America runs on” for example: the poster I saw for that shows a big white Styrofoam cup imprinted with the familiar orange and pink colors and the phrase “Readin’ Emails!” That was it, that was the whole ad, as if there could be no higher kind of fun than readin’ emails while sippin’ your Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. “OH yeah,” we’re supposed to say to ourselves. “I’m a cool person now!
Still, the Dunkin’ posters are better than the ones Starbucks comes up with. Up until this past week my favorite has been this misty-looking painting-like poster showing a path (from coffee grower to coffee drinker) that looks exactly like somebody’s colon, right down to the little off-ramp at the bottom. Where it starts there are happy cartoon peasants driving cartoon tractors; where it ends, happy cartoon people holding coffee cups the size of their heads while the words wind up down and around like ant tracks, set off in odd little sentences, like Buddhist koans perhaps, pearls of wisdom for you to ponder while you’re waiting in line for your $5 fix. Also some are capitalized, and some not, and for no apparent reason which I find incredibly annoying. See?
“Of the earth but heaven sent, coffee starts out as a CHERRY.” (OK, now here imagine a gong sounding: whaaaaang.) “Within the cherry you have the taste of the PLACE it was grown.” (Another gong-dong, bwaaaaaang.) Fire is the magical element for it is in the ROAST that it truly becomes coffee upon the SECOND POP” (Double bwaaaang.) And now here you sit with a cup in front of you, ready to ENJOY. A sip leads to an EPIPHANY. INSPIRATION and IMAGINATION await. The journey goes ever ON …”
Is it me or is this NOT ONLY AMAZINGLY STILTED AND NON-CLEVER BUT OBSCURE IN ITS MESSAGE? It’s as if it was written by people who speak a whole other language than English, who, like, use a different alphabet.
I just thought that was the dumbest Starbucks poster I ever saw – until Monday morning when I caught sight of the brand-new March poster for the a mint-flavored drink. “Leprechaun Latte” it says over the image of a capering member of the wee people, and then “I looked into my literacy-loving soul and AIEEE! there was a latte!”
“Aieee there was a latte”? Why don’t these people just become accountants?
You want to see some good example of advertising go to the site where you can see all of this year’s Superbowl Ads. My favorite shows a real baby sitting at a seeming keyboard in his nursery and talking in a deep male voice. What’s great is this ironic and laid back voice coming out of a real baby’s mouth. Also the fact that it has a little throwing-up in it of the kind that a person comes right back from, the way my godmother did as a young woman in the 1930s. This lady, born in 1909 if you please, had had a few, sure, but no more than anyone else at the party. She was playing sing-along tunes on the piano for a gang of tipsy revelers and singing herself – then glanced down to see that oops! she had thrown up all over her dress without knowing it and c’mon, what’s funnier than that?
Well let’s close this high-minded post by looked at that great ad right now.It has a sister ad that came on later in the game so we’ll put that in here too.
Babies, man: you can’t beat babies for funny. Maybe some of these corporations should hire THEM to write their ads.