In another installment of an irregular feature of this blog, I comment on dumb advertising. Alas, there are so many targets, that I usually fail to even bother.
The topic of the day is current Marlboro ads, as seen in Germany. I do not know if this is a global campaign, but it would be just as stupid in any country.
Cigarette advertising is difficult, because people must be convinced of the value of self-destruction. Of course, the planet is packed with stupid people, who fail to heed warnings on the package and in media reports. Still, companies like Marlboro feel the need to spend huge amounts of money on advertising to keep the name and logo in front of the public.
Success of the cowboy campaign is legendary...and seemingly a thing of the past. Now, they are using words instead of enticing, metaphoric visuals. The core word and concept seems to be maybe, which is played with in various forms and combinations. The language is always English.
I have a fairly good understanding of English, but I do not always understand what they are trying to saw. Anyone with no knowledge of English or a rudimentary grasp of the language will have no clue what these advertisements mean. Some might recognize the Marlboro package and logo, and a few might even wonder what they could be missing by not understanding English. Most will be turned off.
So, the only value of this expensive advertising campaign is to keep the package in the public eye. The company is missing a large opportunity to send a bigger message. And, that is what I call dumb advertising.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.