Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Inexplicable TV Commercials

The TV year 2008 has already sported months of watching losers on-cam at various Burger King 'restaurants' showing their violent withdrawal symptoms when informed, in effect, "No Whopper For You."  It comes across like Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting trying to quit heroin.  What ad wizard041006_burgerking thought I'd want to be more like the BK patrons?  (Same ones, I guess, who thought I'd want to have a creepy plastic King surprise me with breakfast in bed.)  What kind of shopping mall focus group voted thumbs up on those ads?  Probably bitter people clinging to their traditions of beef and sesame seeds.

Now we find that we are supposed to be taking serious and crucial investment advice from...Dennis Hopper

I admit that I find the competitor's spokesperson Sam Waterston to be preachy and elitist, just like his lawyer character on Law and Order -- but at least I wouldn't be deathly afraid that if I gave Sam my retirement dollars, he would be using them at the next intersection to try to score three tabs of acid.

[Alan Childress]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2008/04/inexplicable-tv.html

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Comments

Some while back (c. 2002) I remember reading a comparison of the TD ads done by Steven Hill, Jerry Orbach, and Sam Waterston, all of course of Law & Order. Like their TV characters, Hill's ads were supposed to show a more conservative investment strategy, Orbach's being open to more risk-taking, and Waterston back to a more conservative strategy. The times the ads aired apparently reflected the direction of the market in general at that time. I'll see if I can dig up the blog post... or maybe it was in AdAge...

Posted by: WL | Apr 24, 2008 10:43:27 PM

WL, I have to admit I would be interested in reading that. I always enjoy Ad Report Card on Slate. Right now they are asking why that Subway footlong/$5 song sticks in one's brain.

I guess right now the times demand a very conservative-seeming or droll spokesperson for investing, either Ben Stein or Silas Marner. But I would have never imagined it would be Dennis Hopper. Was Timothy Leary not a available?

Posted by: Alan Childress | Apr 25, 2008 7:01:03 AM

Found it!

Law & Order: Economic Indicators
http://gothamist.com/2004/01/30/law_amp_order_economic_indicators.php

Sam Waterston TV Commercial
http://gothamist.com/2003/11/18/sam_waterston_tv_commercial.php

Posted by: WL | Apr 26, 2008 1:12:33 AM

Excellent, WL, thanks! So now that the economy is turning down again and investors are afraid, who will be the next TD spokesperson from L&O? But they have to be careful he/she is not TOO grim. As the Slate article says (linked in the 1/30/04 one by WL above),
"But apparently there's only so much frank talk the nervous investor can take. Hill was perhaps too honest; he made you want to put your savings under your mattress."

Posted by: Alan Childress | Apr 27, 2008 8:23:50 AM

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