Thursday, 20 August 2015

Whingey Teenager Ads

Have you ever noticed that advertisements seem to go round in cycles? One agency picks up on an idea and then suddenly everyone is doing it – or maybe that one agency is using the same format for more than one client. There is a new one on the radio at the moment that is really driving me to distraction. I can usually filter out advertisements, even enjoy some of them, but this one is enough to make me want to turn the radio off and never switch it on again!
     Someone, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the voice of a nagging whingey teenager is a good way to make people buy things. This is so wrong on several levels.
Nearly every parent suffers the pleading of children wanting things. The long drawn out Muum or Daad, usually on three notes, can I have…? whatever the latest gadget, gismo, musthave is. At one time the answer would be a firm NO or Maybe for Christmas. These days parents seem more willing to give in. Not sure why. Maybe a compensation for something missing in a relationship, maybe a guilt trip for not providing what the precious child wants. It is a constant, unending, trial that never seems to end.
     So what makes the advertising industry think people will respond to an advert of a child asking for something? As parents or grandparents, we hear enough from our own children not to want to hear it from someone else’s.
     And what products are suitable for this sort of campaign?
     The first one was for a mobile phone, or maybe it was a particular network. See, it was so effective I can’t even remember. But it was for something a teenager would want, something to keep up with her friends. So not only are poor parents being whinged at by their own children, they are getting it from the radio, too.
     The latest one that is really incomprehensible to me, is for a car. Same whingey teenager approach, ‘my friend has one, please, please can we have one.’ But since when was a teenage girl interested in cars. She goes on to describe the benefits – as if she would even know about the things she is talking about. It is worse than being told to buy a car by Jeremy Clarkson!
     I really do not understand the mentality behind this advertising campaign. It’s bad enough that children whinge and whine to get things from their own parents. Who thought this approach would work in adverts convincing sensible adults that they need to buy something recommended by a pleading child? Let’s face it, what do children know about the pros and cons of an item? Their friends have a bright, shiny new toy, that doesn’t mean it is the best bright, shiny, new toy. Have they done the research, checked technical reports, compared the reviews of technical experts? No. they have played with their friend’s bright, new, shiny toy and want one. This is how substandard, low tech, items become best sellers.    
     And then there is the assumption that everyone will give in to this whinging child. If I had my way I would take that said child and lock her in her bedroom until she learned not to ask in that whingey voice, that new things needed to be earned not given just because they are wanted.
     Or am I missing something here?
     I really hope this is not an ongoing style. I’d rather listen to the Go Compare man or the Meerkats!

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