"Our Customers are Idiots."

No not “Our” in the “Clay Tablet” Sense – saying something like that would amount to corporate suicide I suspect.

Given that it’s a notion that no one would ever consider vocalizing about their client base – why the heck do marketers think that it’s a good way to advertise their (or their client’s) product?

Case in point: currently a large North American beer company (I won’t give them the pleasure of free advertising) is running a campaign here in Ontario where they’re giving “$4 off a case beer”.

The ad consists of a potential customer calling in to their customer inquiry line and asking “Which case is it”, as he’s supposed too be too stupid to realize that they don’t mean that there is just A case out there with a deal. The operator tries to explain by telling him he can find a case at the beer store – he ends up offering her $4 for a better clue to help him find the case.

Photo: wiseacre on flickr

Does it stick in the head, yeah – but only because I’m usually banging my head against the steering wheel as I wonder who the hell approved that ad.

I’m sure the smart-ass marketing remark will be “ah, but at least you remembered it”. Sure, yeah, you got me – I remember that you have a product, it’s on sale, and where to get it, but now I also hate it and don’t want to chance being at a party/bar and having some chump come up and crack some joke like “oh you found THE case”.

At the end of the day, if your product is a brand within a commoditized field wouldn’t you want to make sure that the images people associate with your brand are positive?

To me this stuff just reeks of lowest common denominator, ‘we’re out of ideas’, marketing – it’s an easy way to get in all the repetitions they need without just saying “4$ off a case of ‘beer’ at the Beer Store” over and over again for 30 seconds (although that probably would have been better)

It’s beer, show people having a great time or something – save the idiots for the Don’t Drink and Drive” spots.