Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Some very stupid ads... (commentary)

I have seen a number of very stupid advertisements recently.

One of them is for a solar cell that plugs into your car or ATV (etc.) to keep the battery charged throughout the winter, being sold by Canadian Tire.

Now I'm not too opposed to the product itself. It's rather clever (as much as I love to see a car driver stranded).

But the advertisement, set just after the Spring thaw, shows the 'Canadian Tire guy' telling his neighbour (or friend, or whatever) about his "new" solar thingy, which kept his ATV charged over the past winter. Which is it? Is it new, or did you just use it for six months?!?

Then there's the CD pen that I bought. I had bought some CD-Rs (for professional, legal use), and in the fine print on the back of the jewel case covers, it said not to use alcohol-based pens when writing on the CD labels. So I checked out the pen that I thought was our CD pen (I wasn't sure because it had been moved and it was not clearly written on the pen itself). I ended up searching online for the serial number, and lo and behold, it was alcohol-based.

So I went to the mall (Grand & Toy to be specific) to get a new CD pen that was safe to use with these CDs. One pen advertised "Safe for use on CDs" on the carton. I looked to see if it was alcohol-based, but it didn't say (and the store clerk certainly didn't know), but I bought one anyway (though the one I bought did not come with the carton, but it was the exact same pen).

A quick search later online, and it, too was alcohol-based. So I called up the pen company's 800 number. I asked them, why do you sell an alcohol-based pen as being safe for CDs, when some CDs (at least the ones I had) should not be written on in alcohol-based ink. Their reply was an expected, "well, we can't guarantee they're safe for all CDs..."

So I called up the CD company, and asked them, this pen says it's safe for use on CDs, but it's alcohol-based, and your CDs say that I can't use alcohol-based pens on them. Their answer: don't use the pen.

This is stupid. If a pen is going to be advertised as safe for use on CDs, then it should be safe for use on CDs!

Anyway, getting back to television. There's this ad for some sort of pickup truck where they are driving around throwing frisbees, er, flying disks to each other. What the bloody f***! What's next? An SUV commercial where people drive around with canoes tied to their vehicles, and they call that canoeing?

Grumble grumble.

- RG.

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