Advertising Failure

Sometimes tv commercials are awesome. I personally know several people who are not interested in football at all, yet watch the Superbowl each year just for the commercials. Personally, it’s a rare tv commercial that’s good enough that I will consciously watch it more than once.

As bad as tv commercials can be, radio commercials are about a million times worse. If you’re not a big radio listener, just imagine the worst tv commercial you’ve ever seen, and then imagine listening to it without even seeing it. Blech… The worst part about radio commercials is that, since they can’t visually show you a logo to stick in your mind, they feel like they have to repeat the product name, or the website, or (worst of all) their phone number over and over and over again. Here is a list of methods I have heard in radio commercials recently for communicating contact information, and my typical reactions.

-Never gave contact info – Seriously?! That’s sad, because I really was going to buy your product, but now I don’t know where to go or what to do, so I can’t. Oh, well…

-Only once during the whole advertisement: Are you even trying? If it’s not important enough for you to say your phone number twice, then it’s not important enough for me to buy.

-Once at the beginning and once at the end: Not bad. You wanted to make sure I had your info, but you weren’t horribly annoying about it. I still probably won’t buy your stuff, because if you were really worth it, you would have bought a tv spot.

-Twice consecutively at the end: Hey, thanks for the effort to help me remember your phone number, but when I heard that second repetition, I thought I was going a little crazy. Now I’m uncomfortable, and I won’t buy your product.

-Once at the beginning and twice at the end: Ooh… I thought you were going for a “once at the beginning and once at the end” kind of feel, but you said your number twice in a row right at the end to make doubly sure I wouldn’t forget. That’s pretty slick. Maybe a little too slick… I’m now suspicious of you and your product, and I won’t buy from you.

-Three times spaced out throughout the ad: Your ad is like the last ten minutes of The Return of the King – I keep thinking it’s over and getting up to leave, but then there’s more. Only your ad is not nearly as good as a Peter Jackson film, so instead of being exciting it’s just really annoying. I will not buy your product.

-Three times consecutively at the end: Do you think I’m stupid? That I can’t remember your phone number or website after a mere two repetitions? Or do you actually think that I’m writing your number down on something, and you’re trying to give me some extra time to do so? In that case, you’re stupid, and I’m not buying your product.

-Four times consecutively at the end: There is no act of God that could induce me to buy your product. I will spend some of my free time from now on telling people I know not to buy your product because of your annoying commercials. If all goes well, you will be out of business in a few weeks. Although, if you had to hire some hack ad agency that said your phone number four times consecutively at the end of your commercial, then you’re probably already going out of business. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Actually, let it hit you, because that would serve you right for subjecting the world to that advertisement.

So, the moral of the story? The odds are against me ever buying a product based on hearing a radio advertisement.

What about you? What do love or hate about commercials? Are there any that you’ve seen or heard lately that are just gold?



  1. I hate it when it’s obviously a local commercial, yet every time they repeat their number they spend the time to bore us with the area code our minds have already defaulted to.


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