Saturday, July 01, 2017

Favorite Commercial

As some of my regular followers might know, I follow commercials. Yes, I am a frustrated marketing guy.  

In college, I majored in marketing.  If I had a little more courage, I would have quit my secure banking job and went into marketing after I completed my four year, GI Bill funded, nighttime (after working at the bank) college course.  But alas I didn't, so I am reduced to monitoring commercials (and ads in magazines and highway billboards) and passing judgement. 

So what do I think of commercials and magazine ads?  Most of them are terrible. Atrocious. Magazines have too many ads and TV commercials are often reduced to stupid white men and crying babies. Not much original. 

But every now and then one comes along that is almost near perfect. In fact, this E*Trade commercial I've lead this post with is perfect in my opinion.  

Hey, everyone can identify with what a horrible experience "Flying the friendly skies" is now.  You consider yourself lucky if  you're not dragged off the plane, bloodied and unconscious if you dare not to give up your seat (that you paid for) to an airline employee who needs to bump you so THEY can make their next flight. "Screw you" the airlines all too often seem to say by their actions.

And who hasn't flown a flight with the crying, whining baby (who flies for FREE by the way) to accompany you on your hours long flight?  And if you're really lucky, you'll have someone recline their seat in front of you to further cramps your already limited leg room.  And how about the freckle faced red headed kid kicking his tray on the back of your seat?  Ah yes, we've ALL been there. 

Full disclosure here, I have stock in E*Trade.  I've had it for years (21 to be exact).  I've lost a lot of money in my decades long holding of E*Trade stock. Just the last year or so I've come up even. 

I've never liked E*Trade's commercials.  The last several years their commercials have been nothing but exercises in vanity for the actor Kevin Spacey.  I like Kevin Spacey as an actor but man Kevin, your E*Trade commercials were awful.  I'm glad someone at E*Trade finally wised up and dumped that ad agency.  Go feed your ego somewhere else Kevin, along with Matthew McConaughey, who HAS to be the most self-involved vain actor in commercials these days.  I literally cannot watch his commercials, he's so full of himself.  You're not all that Matthew.  Really, get a life.

Thus it was a very pleasant surprise to see this latest E*Trade commercial that is succinct, to the point and one that actually causes you to remember the product advertised.  And isn't that the purpose of a commercial after all? To make you want to buy the product? 

How many commercials have you seen that you don't even know what is advertised?  I've seen plenty, too many. But this one is good. Almost as good as that Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercial.  


Larry Meredith said...


More things we sort of share in common.I studies Commercial Art for two years, which was mostly aimed at producing advertising. I even did some during my life, ads for the Inquirer and Daily News and in the 1990s a radio commercial for a theater group in Florida. My final years at WTC were spent working in Marketing.

I agree with your choice of the ETrade ad. And of course "Where's the Beef?" is one of the all time great ones.


Ron said...

We should have both pursued that career! Think of how our lives would have been different.

Ur-spo said...

I forgot you knew some marketing.
fascinating topic - marketing.