Do cer­tain ads drive you around the bend?

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - NEWS -

Please al­low me a cranky old-man mo­ment. But let me be blunt - I flatly refuse to ever buy a Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat, or drink a McDon­ald’s cap­puc­cino (even if, as the fast food chain boasts, the foamy-foam comes from real “moo-cows”).

Why? Well, the ad­ver­tis­ing. Ads are sup­posed to at­tract you to a prod­uct, or at least to plant a seed of prod­uct recog­ni­tion some­where deep in your brain so that, when you want, say a cof­fee, some hid­den penny drops. But what if the seed is so toxic that it grows into a weed that ac­tu­ally makes you hate the prod­uct?

First, there’s the cur­rent full-force ro­ta­tion of a McDon­ald’s ad where an ex­tremely ir­ri­tat­ing man trails peo­ple around, talk­ing about how McDon­ald’s grinds their own cof­fee beans (he makes a noise like a cof­fee grinder) and uses real milk (as he puts it, “from moo-cows. Moooo!”).

This is an ad that wasn’t even re­motely funny on the first day that it aired. The fact that an hour of tele­vi­sion-watch­ing prac­ti­cally guar­an­tees that you’ll see the darned thing is just salt in the wound. Road salt. Straight from the salt truck.

But if that ad’s ro­ta­tion is bad, the Volk­swa­gen of­fer­ing is far worse.

If you are a masochist, you can watch the Pas­sat ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRXC3qS6t 4M.

If you travel at all, though, you’ve al­ready ei­ther heard or seen it 150 times or more. It fea­tures a man run­ning out of a meet­ing to lis­ten to his son’s dread­ful vi­o­lin recital through the speak­ers of his car. Mom is at the recital, du­ti­ful- Amherst was con­sid­er­ing ac­cept­ing up to 30 mil­lion litres of treated wa­ter that was used in oil and gas ex­plo­ration around Ken­net­cook in 2007. If Amherst had moved for­ward, the town would have re­ceived a min­i­mum of $500,000 to dis­pose of the treated wa­ter through its sewage treat­ment fa­cil­ity on the marsh near town.

Mike Clark dis­agreed with the mayor’s com­ments, say­ing he and oth­ers op­posed to the pro­posal were at the in­for­ma­tion ses­sion and did not like the for­mat the town chose.

“What the mayor is say­ing is un­true, but at the end of the day it’s over,” Clark said. “This shows the sys­tem works and you don’t have to sit back and take it. You can get to­gether with other like-minded peo­ple and ac­tu­ally make a dif­fer­ence.”

Clark said he wants this to be an eye opener for other com­mu­ni­ties, adding peo­ple can get to­gether to fight for what they be­lieve is right.

Ja­son Blanch, who also op­posed the pro­posal, wel­comed the town’s decision to dis­con­tinue talks. ly hold­ing up a cell­phone to trans­mit ev­ery ex­cru­ci­at­ing note.

The Pas­sat ad is in reg­u­lar ro­ta­tion in Canada’s air­ports; some en­ter­pris­ing ad ex­ec­u­tive ap­par­ently bought 50 mil­lion or so 30 sec­ond spots and filled them all with bad-vi­o­lin-boy.

Now, Volk­swa­gen makes some very funny ads, and some fine au­to­mo­biles.

I’d even like to have one, but I have heard that ad so much that I’m sim­ply cross­ing the Pas­sat off my po­ten­tial pur­chase list.

For­ever. It’s the least I can do. (It’s the only thing I can do.)

I’m sure I’m not alone in this com­plaint. In fact, as it gets harder and harder to get peo­ple to even watch ads (hello, Net­flix and PVRs), mak­ing ads ir­ri­tat­ing is prob­a­bly just another tool in the ad-agency tool­box.

What you think? Are there par­tic­u­lar ads

“This is a suc­cess for the com­mu­nity, the en­vi­ron­ment and par­tic­i­pa­tory democ­racy be­cause it shows the town’s lead­er­ship lis­tened to the peo­ple,” Blanch said. “That’s the nice thing about mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics, you’re very close to your elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive and you can make your voice be heard.”

Blanch cred­ited town coun­cil for lis­ten­ing, but said this shouldn’t be the end of the dis­cus­sion on the en­vi­ron­ment.

He hopes the neg­a­tiv­ity sur­round­ing the dis­cus­sion will be put in the past and wants a dis­cus­sion on mak­ing Amherst more en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious.

“We have to take this mo­men­tum and an­a­lyze the sit­u­a­tion we’re in and re­al­ize we’re at an im­passe with the amount of en­ergy we use and waste, the amount of en­ergy that’s avail­able and the loom­ing cli­mate cri­sis,” Blanch said. “The town said no to frack­ing waste­water but we will have frack­ing in Nova Sco­tia and Cum­ber­land County un­less we ad­dress our fu­ture that drive you around the bend? Feel free to email me your least fa­vorites - my ad­dress is at the bot­tom of this col­umn.

Oh, and one more: those dou­ble- and triplestacked car­pet store ads that some­times as­sault you on pri­vate ra­dio? (The ones where the same ad plays again and again, back to back, as if you were too thick to hear it the first time.)

I know your names, and hear me loud and clear: I will never, ever walk into your store.

You have my full and com­plete at­ten­tion, but like the Eye of Sau­ron from “The Lord of the Rings,” that might not be a good thing.

Cranky old man out. en­ergy needs.”

Blanch said the town can be a leader by look­ing at things like an ac­tive trans­porta­tion plan and us­ing so­lar heat­ing for town build­ings and fa­cil­i­ties like the YMCA and the Amherst Sta­dium.

He said the no to frack­ing wa­ter has to be a yes to re­new­able en­ergy and sug­gested Amherst lead the way in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

“If we change now we can have clean air, a rel­a­tively sta­ble cli­mate and clean wa­ter. If we wait un­til we’re out of fos­sil fu­els, we have no en­ergy, no wa­ter and a night­mare for our cli­mate.”

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