12 Mar

Commercial Frugality

The woman walks past the jewelry store and notices the gorgeous pair of earrings in the window display.

The hook.

Sure the customer may not buy those pair of earrings... who knows, maybe they will. The point is that they want you to enter their store in hopes you'll find something that you WILL like. After all, it's hard to even get people to enter the store, with all the pressure from salespeople, or the knowledge that things will be too expensive. Why even bother. You need the hook.

You're at an amusement park with your date. You pass by the games of chance with predefined ignorance when suddenly you hear "10 rings for $1."

You look.

And at that moment, in what seems like pure timing perfection, the employee gives that little nod of his head, holds out 10 rings and says "You've got this... make the lady happy."

Then when you glance her way, she's got that little well-now-you've-got-to-do-it-show-me-you-got-it-and-that-you-love-me obligatory smile on her face.

The employee just hooked you.

You just went from not giving the employee the time of day to being at least partially, if not fully, engaged in the game.

So what's my point in all this?

You've probably figured it out. It's all about the hook. Maybe it's a product just isn't that exciting to discuss -- life insurance, mattresses, or books. Maybe it's a product where the market is so floode...

BLENDERS! I was watching the March Madness Selection Show, and between commercials I was flipping between channels. I saw infomercials for blenders (the one with Montel Williams), juicers, another blender of compact size, and the magic bullet (an even more compact blender). How am I to choose a blender? Oh yeah, The Hook. The super-fast-talking, excited guy and the lady sidekick who plays the color commentator, performing in front of what seems like endless people, but is really just the camera panning over the same people over and over again, trying to explain to me what this blender does that all other blenders don't do and that I'm a fascist if I don't get it.

And so I saw a commercial. A minute or so in duration. It was that damn SunSetter Awning commercial. The one they've been playing since 19...War II. The one with the guy in the too-tight 80's style polo shirt drinking the tall glass of tea with a lemon.

And as I sat there laughing at the fact that they haven't updated this cheesy commercial in forever, I heard it. That famous line where you can receive the $200 certificate. And then the line about the net cost of the awning after the certificate is applied. It went something like this:

"...means you can get your SunSetter awning for less than $499."

Wait, did I hear that right? It sounded a bit funny. Either I need to get my hearing checked, or that guy's voice just got about 1-2 octaves lower. A la the voicemail where it goes "I'm sorry (deep voice) John Doe (/deep voice) is not available."

Ok, so first off, the old commercial used to have a price tag of "... for less than $398." But I understand inflation. I get that the price can't stay the same during the 700 years you've been playing that commercial. But I also understand cheesiness when I see it. Your hook is being held hostage by your frugality. You had to do a voice-over to an outdated commercial. Don't think it's outdated? DURING THE FIRST COUPLE SECONDS OF THE COMMERCIAL, THE GUY FIXES HIS POLO BECAUSE IT'S TOO SNUG.

So you cheapened your Hook. Amazing. Heaven knows it would be too much to ask to reshoot the commercial -- you know, because you would have actually had to hire two no-namers and reprint the $200 Certificate prop and all. Hell, you can still use your footage of the old lady smiling during all 60-seconds that it takes to open the awning. So really, you only have to retape... oh, about 30-60 seconds of the whole commercial. Edit in the rest.

But no, let's just dub in the new price over the old one. With a voice that sounds NOTHING like the original. Yeah, that'll get me "in the store."

I'm sure they'll say they would rather avoid those [retaping] expenses and keep the awnings low. Yeah, d'ok!!!

Categories: Gripe