Rants on all the ads that suck. Updated whenever it tickles my fancy to do so. Now moved to http://adsthatsuck.ca

THIS SITE HAS MOVED TO http://www.adsthatsuck.ca


Sometimes the free prize isn't worth the corn flakes

Remember when you used to beg your mom for the sugary cereal that you really didn't even like all that much, just so you could get the cool holographic Sugar Bear card? The "free prize" concept still works today - so much so that Seth Godin wrote a book about it called "Free Prize Inside."

The concept is standard in market research circles. It's hard to get people to sit in a board room and tell a room full of people how a certain font makes them feel, or to spend their lunch hour filling out online surveys, so participants in focus groups are offered "incentives." These incentives vary by how important you are and how much of your time is needed. Fifty dollars is pretty much the standard for a focus group, and online surveysrange from cash to being entered in a draw.

As someone who works in the advertising world, I get a lot of these. The one I got today, however, had about the stupidest free prize I've ever seen.

The pitch was for me to do an online survey to rate how I "perceive the various advertising options both in terms of efficacy and service to marketers." Seeing as I do a fair amount of ad buying, my opinion must be pretty valuable, right? This online survey must be worth at least $25 or ashot at some great prize, right?

As a token of our appreciation you will be entered into a draw to win one of three Tivoli Audio Model One desktop radios

A radio? Why in the flying Christ would I want a radio? The worst part is - I'm not even guaranteed this radio. It's a DRAW for a radio.

As if this didn't suck enough, my jaw dropped when I read the ridiculous ad copy for this particular radio:

Tivoli Audio Model One AM/FM Table Radio
Where performance and simplicity are paramount but space is sparse, the Model One mono table radio fits the bill. With just three knobs, it is the antithesis of today's ever more complex electronic products. But behind the Model One's simple, innocent appearance, hides a multitude of technology facilitating higher sound reproduction and better reception over anything else near it in size or cost.

Only three knobs. That's perfect, because I'm stupid. And thank God it's mono. I'd hate to hear a crossfade and get seasick.

So, here's the lesson in this. If you're going to ask for someone's time to further your own ends, give them something. But, if you give them garbage and tell them it's gold dust, they're going to see right through you. Andthey're not going to take your stupid survey.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what rating you want this to be, but....

Does this mean you will fellate me for responding to your blog posts with my insightful commentary?

4/19/2005 03:25:00 p.m.


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