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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Communication Skills

Cross-posted from eXcessica...

Whether it’s advertising or even the news, lately I’ve noticed some real clankers happening in the media.

Sometimes it’s a plain tautology. In a print ad for a prestige car over here we had the heading “Uniquely Individual”, which I imagine was to separate themselves from all the cars which are uniquely identical. Then there’s the TV ad claiming that a car is “full of unexpected surprises”. Yeah. I find surprises are soooo much better when you’re expecting them.

Other times it’s poor use of words or a phrase. There’s a TV campaign in Australia urging us all to drive at safe speeds, don’t drive while drunk, etc. It’s a great campaign, but in my pedantic way I take exception to their tagline: “Too much blood has been spilled on our roads.” I take it, then, that there’s an acceptable amount of blood which may be spilled, but now we’ve gone just plain bonkers? Can they give us a specific cutoff point in either gallons or square feet?

Along the same lines as that was the Moreton Island marketing campaign. In 2009, a tanker lost a buttload of oil off the coast of my home town. That oil then washed up on the beaches of Moreton Island, which shields Brisbane from the open ocean. Environmental disaster? You’d think so. But apparently, it was the best thing that ever happened. Why? Once the oil was cleaned up, we were being assured that Moreton Island was “better than ever”. I don’t know about you, but I’m fixin’ to sabotage me a few tankers off the Galapagos Islands later in the year. Fix that place right up.

We also have an ad over here for a food manufacturer, who tells us they use “farm-picked vegetables”. I tend to look at what they’re not saying. Are these veggies grown on the backs of trucks, and the trucks are then driven to a farm so the veggies can be picked?

As I hinted at the start, even the news is rife with crap these days. In a very serious story in recent times, one of our news anchors told us that rescuers were conducting “a frantic search for miners trapped in the United States”. Trapped by what? Floods? Locusts? A rogue band of dominatrixes with time on their hands? Or maybe their flights were delayed by the volcano in Iceland…

But my personal favourite was stupid not just because of the wording, but because of the emphasis (see later in the paragraph). It was a puff piece about Ricky Martin (shock horror) coming out of the closet. It simply stated that after years of speculation, Senor Martin had made an announcement “confirming he was gay on his website”. So he was, but now he’s not, and it probably doesn’t count, since the gayness was only on his website.

It’s no wonder I’ve given up on TV…

1 comment:

Rozlyn Sparks said...

I love how you read between the lines there!