Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Case for Adiverts

I spotted this poster in Wellington train station, and have subsequently seen it on Oriental Parade. And, on first inspection, it struck me.

Not in a physical way, but more in the subliminal message way. Or perhaps not so subliminal. Do you see what I saw? And no, there is no little picture of Waldo or Wally anywhere.

The thing that struck me about this was the jacket. Obviously, the cause is worthy and I am sure that donating would be wonderful. But that jacket. Why does it have to be a designer label?

Sure, adidas is not Christian LaCroix or something from one of the big designer houses. But what this advertisement said to me was that kids need their sports-sponsored jackets, and that is what this charity organisation will deliver them.

I suppose the real reason why a big adidas symbol is splashed all over this page is because the company, besides sponsoring well paid (perhaps mercenarily so) rugby players, also works with the underprivileged too. I assumed this display showed that addidas support the charity and merely ask that the children they help clothe be attired in apparel that shows from whom their wardrobe springs. The little people matter – in any way that helps sales, the cynic within me cynically smiles.

Of course, being the cynic that I am, the whole advertising-link annoys me almost as much as the thought of the charity spending donated money on “label first” clothing. Oxfam do a great line in “present” donations where contributors can pay for specific items, such as chickens, toilets, educational grants and the like, and I have occasionally contributed to some of these as “presents” for some friends as donations on their behalf. But I would never have any inclination be to buy an addidas jacket as one of those donations.

In the end, I found that the advertisement gave me all the wrong messages, foremost the one that, “We need money because we spend money on label clothing”. If adidas do indeed sponsor this charity, their message rings out, “We give these people money, but expect them to spend it on our label of jackets and other assorted sporting gear”.

Verdict: And so, all up, the advertisement served to convince me not to donate to that charity, and also to spread the word about how awful their advertising campaign appears to be. Like the more annoying and/or discordant advertisements out there, it definitely left an impression – just not the impression the advertisers probably intended. 1 powers of persuasion out of 5.

1 comment:

missrabbitty said...

on a similar vein...some of my students have every brand of gaming console known to mankind but don't pay technology fees or eat lunch every day...it's all down to priorities i guess and fitting in with everybody else. i think everyone needs an adidas hoodie...who wants to give me one?

and also, you have noticed the ad and then disseminated it to others. you have done well grasshopper...