Oct 10

Marketing vs. annoying

At the risk of appearing to be a Mets fan, I confess that I recently received an email from the team the other day. (Okay, I did buy tickets to a game this year and they apparently captured my email address.)

There was no text in this message. Just a big “Thank you fans” and an invitation to “click to play.”

Since the Mets had done a pretty good job of embarrassing themselves on the field this year, I was curious to see what their thank-you message might be. So I clicked.

Unfortunately, that didn’t take me to a thank-you. It first took me to a 30-second commercial for the History Channel.

Honestly, I would have appreciated a sincere message. Instead, I was left with the feeling that they were just using me to get another click.

This is a good example of advertising pollution — when ads appear in places they really shouldn’t be. It also demonstrates the difference between the business of advertising and the art of advertising.

No one doubts that you can achieve results by dropping tons of flyers from a helicopter. Or by putting up 20 billboards on a single block. It’s just a bit of a mess. The art is getting the message out in ways that are interesting and rewarding for customers — not crammed into every available space.

I imagine it’s in Chapter One of the Good Book of Advertising: see things like your customers see them. That means not just looking at your ad, but where it’s running.

If it makes you wince, that’s never a good sign.

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