Sunday, April 19, 2009
Hatin' on commercials and hatin' on a product.
The insurance company GEICO is doing something very strange, and has been doing it for years. They run several different ad campaigns at the same time for the same product, namely their bread and butter, car insurance. They've had the ads with the gecko for a long time, and likewise the ads with the cavemen. For a while, they had ads with actual customers sitting next to the most annoying celebrity spokespeople possible, but those have mercifully been pulled. The new superfluous campaign is the money you could be saving with GEICO, a small pile of bills with googly eyes on top of them. Of all their miserably unfunny campaigns, this one may be the worst.
Nobody is making meaningful ads about car insurance right now, so I don't blame GEICO in particular for being frivolous about a serious subject. They are trying to be funny like everybody else, but all of their campaigns fail massively as far as I'm concerned.
NetZero has a new campaign with their chairman Mark Goldston informing customers that they could save big money if they switched from DSL to dialup, which only costs $9.95 a month. NetZero doesn't expect people to remember that they originally promised free internet back in the day, but that isn't the real problem now. The real problem is that a dial-up speed connection is next to useless on the internet in 2009. If you do anything more information intensive than answering e-mail, you will hate being online at dial-up speed, especially if you've had a high speed modem so you know the difference. Even much of e-mail now relies on attachments, and the glacial download speeds will make people crazy today. Hell, Comcast has ads mocking how slow DSL is compared to cable internet access. I haven't tried cable, but I'm not unhappy with what I have now. That said, I would never go back to dial-up, even if it was dirt cheap or even free. It's like trying to convince people of the advantages of horse drawn carriages now, and this is coming from someone who has become a very cautious adopter of new technology now in my advanced years.