Monday, September 04, 2006

The sum total of creativity and stupidity

Many advertising campaigns succeed in capturing my attention, sucking me in with their pretty pictures and clever words, especially if they’re selling cars or lipstick. While I’m sometimes rewarded with a witty turn of phrase or some unsuspected (apparent) honesty in the advertising, most of the time I end up disappointed with over-the-top claims, bad grammar and obvious airbrushing.

While walking past a local BMW dealership last week I saw an ad that didn’t so much disappoint as leave me completely dumbfounded and obsessed with trying to make some meaning out of it.

The ad shows a young woman sitting on the deck of a gorgeous wood boat. You know the ones that are all glistening polished wood and smooth, lean lines, usually cruising down a Venetian canal, or anchored off the Amalfi coast next to P Diddy’s yacht.

Anyway, the boat is gorgeous and so is the girl, smiling in the sunshine, decked out in her finest Ralph Lauren linen pants and fine cotton knit, shiny brown hair rivalling the boat for chestnut-y brilliance.

The slogan written over the calm blue waters reads: Individual style is the sum total of the freedom you enjoy in life.

Huh? I hadn’t even realised style was related to freedom, let alone its sum total. Is it about the boat or the money? Is freedom being able to buy anything you like and is that what makes you stylish? There are many rich people with bad style so money can’t be it. What about the BMWs, where do they fit in: before the boat but after the Ralph Lauren? Do the cars give you the freedom or the style?

Why do people write with their brain switched off?

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