Too much adspeak, not enough conversation

In this guest post, Adam Hunt salutes ads that talk to consumers rather than address them in adspeak.

I don’t listen to commercial radio.

The ads are horrible and the continuous sales pitch masquerading as on-air dialogue is insulting to anyone with even half a brain.  

When ads are a conversation (click to enlarge)

When ads are a conversation (click to enlarge)

I guess an upside for me is that I’ve never heard the Kyle & Jackie O show.

Anyway my point is that the vast majority of ads use a language and intonation that bears no relation to how real people speak.

The rare ads that do connect and are loved by the public are those which have a conversation with their target – like “Not happy Jan” and “Emperor Nasi Goreng”. Funny that.

Real people saying real things that make people smile in recognition will always trump the machine gun staccato of Adspeak.

Imagine how weird it would be if people actually spoke like radio and TV voiceovers.

I think we should be having more conversations with people and  less steroid-induced sales sermons.

Which brings me to the best piece of advertising I’ve read in years.

I was walking down a street in Bondi when I saw this sign for a Garage Sale:

“YES! Another F#@KING Garage SALE!


Unwanted presents (X-mas, birthday etc) Ex-girlfriend’s wardrobe, a hideous moneybox, a vase from Taiwan, Half-a-salt-‘n’ pepper set, a clock radio, vintage laptop, A DVD player with no remote, half a bottle of Brut, a mismatched dinner set, a jumper someone left at our house, a Discman, a novelty can opener, a video of someone’s wedding, some old vinyl in really bad condition, a cassette, some recyclable green shopping bags, a plastic bucket, an awful teapot, some ashtrays, & some electrical goods that probably do not work. BE EARLY 4 BARGAINS”.

The headline (and art direction) stopped me in my tracks.

The copy made me laugh out loud.

I detoured down the street, went to the garage sale, bought a book that I didn’t really need – and I left with a smile.

It was the perfect sales pitch.

  • Adam Hunt is a freelance writer, art director, creative director, designer and photographer. He also runs the Goat Boy t-shirt site

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