Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If evolution were left up to people in marketing.....

......we'd all be sat in caves trying to work out if rocks are edible.

I'll give you an example. This example does involve me revealing that my Saturday night consisted of cider, chili and the Witchfinder General, but you already knew that I am a classy classy party animal right?

Incidentally, as an aside - the 24 year old director of the Witchfinder General, Michael Reeves, often clashed with Vincent Price about his over acting. The story goes that Price eventually lost his rag and snapped 'Young man, I have made 84 films! How many have you done?', 'Two good ones' came the reply.

Anyway, back to the subject. Before this awesome film came on I found myself watching QI on UKTV Gold, or some channel like it. When the ads came on, I phased out as you do and pootled about the kitchen cleaning up after my cooking - when I came back in I was greeted with the words :

'The most advanced piece of technology you will ever pee on!'.

Now it seemed to me that it was an incredibly bizarre thing to be proud of, and it was said with great American accented gusto. Like all the best innovations the world has ever seen should first be unrinated on before they could be taken seriously. It's an odd criteria because as we all know, men will pretty much relieve themseleves anywhere and on anything when caught short - especially after a few drinks.

Then the ad continued and, rather disappointingly, was for a pregnancy test, which at least added some exclusivity to the tag line. If it was for a product that was a bit more unisex, I would imagine trading standards would have a flurry of complaints from drunks insisting that they once pissed against a Lamborghini Diablo and that surely that was waaaaaay more advanced than the thing on that bollox advert.

This in itself is odd, it's certainly a statement that would mke a man sit up and take notice. Not so much the weeing part but the 'Most advanced piece of technology......' part. [Delete]That is a line to sell things to men[/Delete] That is the kind of strap line I would expect to see in something aimed at men. Just look a razors, Gillette have a business model based entirely on adding more blades to razors - 'Each one shaves closer than the last'. Pretty soon we'll be flaying the skin of our faces, allbeit with an aloe vera strip and gentle battery powered vibrations. But it'll be OK because 'It's the most advanced razor in the world!' and it will sell like hot cakes. Women, in my limited experience, would rather something which says 'This works really well[Edit] and is better than product X because.....!' and couldn't give a flying toss whether its made out of the same stuff as the NASA moonlander or not. They really didn't think it through - pregnancy tests are something of a necessity and selling them in the same way as you would sell a new TV seems slightly odd to me.

On the other hand it has made me remember the product, if only to mock it and think of jet powered pregnancy tests, hover pregancy tests etc.

Having said that, in the world of 'technology that you pee on', how much competition is there to get the coveted 'Most advanced thing you will ever pee on' title? I can't think of any other products you have to wee on to get them to work. How advanced are the toilets aboard the ISS?

Biscuits, squows and things you wee on. I told you I was classy.

*If you check out the comments you'll see I ballsed up in explaining what I was driving at re: advertising directed at men vs that directed at women so I edited the post. It's probably no clearer but I know what I meant so I'll stop caring now :p

31 comments:

Hanrah said...

Wow, that was quite sexist Mr Jones! The word "technology" is exclusively the realm of man??

I think it's a pretty good advert! It's honest, none of this ridiculous twee stuff with women "passing water" on pregnancy tests generating a lot of jokes (and some true stories) about girls running them under the tap and being VERY surprised a couple of months later!

MattJ said...

Well it wasn't meant in a sexist way, merely that men are more likely to go for the 'ooh look, shiny!' gadget type of ad, not that technology is exclusive to men.

Hanrah said...

so? that doesn't mean that women are put off by it.

MattJ said...

I wasn't suggesting they were put off by it, or at leats that's not what I meant - I just found the ad really funny and thought I'd take the piss a bit, I'm surprised you find it so sexist to be honest but that wasn't my intention - I thought I was more taking the piss out of my own tendancy to be blinded by buttons than implying that poor simple girls couldn't possibly understand technology :s

Hanrah said...

You're surprised? Really?

MattJ said...

errrm..yes...that's why I said it :s I'm not sure what is derogatory to women in what I said.

I'll change it if other people feel the same way though, whether I meant it in the way you see it or not is irrelevent if other people see it too then I've clearly written it wrong.

MattJ said...

Actually I think i see it now - is it the 'Women would rather something which says "this works really well!"' line? It definitely wasn't meant in a poor simple wimminfolk way but I can see where you're coming from if thats the bit that's caused the rancour.

Hanrah said...

"'Most advanced piece of technology......' part. That is a line to sell things to men, used on a product aimed at the female market"

how is that not a gender-biased statement?

Also, regarding the whole weeing issue - you really DO wee on it! I'm pretty sure that trading standards would only have a go if you were being encouraged to wee on electrical equipment or puppies or something! lol!

MattJ said...

Yeah i can see your point, some judicious rewording is required I think - as I say it was more intended as a 'ooh look shiny!' nature of the male shopping mentality than anything derogatory towards you simple minded wimminfolk :p

I know you wee on it, I just found the WAY he announces it the funny part, like any advanced technology worth its salt should be weed on as a matter of course.

Hanrah said...

Well it's supposed to be funny. That's the whole point. It's taking the piss out of other adverts which prissily focus on the equipment itself so they can ignore the "you wee on it" factor! And if you think the "ooh shiny!" thing doesn't work on women, you have definitely never seen a woman shop for shoes or bags!

MattJ said...

Lol! i'm not sure why this has spun out into a big discussion about my apparent chauvanistic leanings, I was just taking the piss out of something I found funny - I had no idea I would have to analyse it so thoroughly. I'll stick to biscuits in the future.

Hanrah said...

You don't have to analyse it thoroughly Matt, you said that technology was a boy thing - did you really think that I'd let that one slide?! lol!

MattJ said...

Well I had a big long response written out but I suspect you are just deliberately winding me up now so I'll see if i can drop it shall I? lol!

Hanrah said...

Um, no I'm not. I stand by everything I've said as yet Mr Jones!

MattJ said...

Well we'll have to agree to disagree because nowhere do I say that technology is for boys and not for girls, its about how we are sold to hence the post being about marketing.

But then you already know that I don't think that way! But congratulations, you just earned yourself a bonus birthday present.

You'll love it. It'll be awesome. mwha......mwahahaa......MWAHAHAAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

Hanrah said...

Well in a typical Rah-must-have-the-last-word sense, I merely reply once again . . .
"'Most advanced piece of technology......' part. That is a line to sell things to men, used on a product aimed at the female market"
Sorry dude, but you said it!

MattJ said...

well as we both always insist on the last word I suspect this will go on for some time, with you quoting the line and me explaining my meaning, you ignoring me and quoting the line, me explaining what I meant by it and so on and so forth. The fact the post is labelled marketing, that I associate meaningless 'look at the amazing technology' strap lines with marketing aimed at men and at no point state that technology is for boys and not for girls should not stand in the way of a good argument ;) I have, and still concede the wording could be clearer and I will edeavour to change it when i get home for my magical tesco trip after work.

Though i should leave the old wording in too to provide context or this whole thread is going to be confusing as hell :p

Hanrah said...

But you do state that technology is aimed for boys and not girls, as I have previously indicated. The strap line being about marketing has nothing to do with it! Just because you start talking about one thing it doesn't mean things stay that way! (And by "you" I mean in the plural, meaning "you, me and everyone else who's addicted to going off on a tangent!")

MattJ said...

I agree about then tangents but given that your entire argument his based on my interpretation of how a part of a strap line is received, in this instance it actually is one of the rare cases where there is a direct link to my subject.

I do not under any cirmcumstances, and indeed have not said at any point, think that technology is for boys and not for girls. I do however contend that as a general rule, the way 'hi-tech' stuff is marketed at women and the way it is marketed at men - just like with any product - can differ greatly. Which was pretty much the point I thought I was making.

Hanrah said...

Yes, my entire argument is based on your interpretation of a strap line, because you said that a strap line about technology was for men and not women.

MattJ said...

lol! Yesa strap line phrased that way struck me as a more male oriented strap line, but at no point did I qualify that with 'which means that all technology is the sole domain of Man and all technology advertising is aimed at men because women don't know what technology is' - or did I miss my own subtext? :p

Olivia said...

Omigosh, is 21 comments on the first day breaking records, Matt?

I think in Hanrah you have met your match - bulldogs never let go, eh? Anything I might have said Hanrah has covered already, so....

Anyhoo. If I were the first commenter I would have said:

Oy, watch it! Not only men like advanced technology!

Did you read about my DESMOND, and guess what I got last week? The new Sony Ericsson k810i camera phone. It's lovely! I took it out of the box and sniffed in that nice "new electronics" smell, almost as addictive as new car smell.

MattJ said...

Ok, now there are two of you interpreting what I said in a different way to what I actually meant demonstrates that I am crap at conveying my thoughts through the medium of the interweb!

I'll see what I can do about rectifying the post but I'm probably better off cutting my losses and deleting it lol!

MattJ said...

OK, back to gadgetry!

'Liv! That was the phone I was considering a few months ago, I was intending using my smartphone for general use and the sony for going out and about with, to save on buying a compact camera. However, I am currently waiting for a new phone to come out that is an uber-mega-smartphone that appeals to me ona very fundamental geek level, far more than the convenience of a decent camera! It's definitely not fashionable, but it does have wireless, broadband, bluetooth, fulle QWERTY, and a terminal server client on it. It RAWWWWWKS! I just hope it gets its release soon cos I already cancelled my Orange contract in advance of my T-Mobile switch and only have about a week and a half left on it lol!

Jessica said...

I'm sick of seeing the cavemen commercials, although I plan to check out their show when it comes out. Curious.
I love good ads, but they are rare. They save most of them for the superbowl.
Interesting blog!

MattJ said...

Lol! I think you're thrown most of us Jessica as we are all UK based so have no idea about the caveman commercials! Superbowl ads are awesome as a general rule, but we only have access to them, via the magic of youtube lol!

It's nice of you to say its interesting but we both know full well that at best its tolerable :p

but welcome anyway ;)

Olivia said...

Matt, what brand is the smart phone? Have you heard of the touch sensitive one? starts with an H....

***

Jessica - Hehe, I know those caveman ads. I think they are for Geico, a car insurance company. Whatever happened to the gecko! "It's "gecko" not Geico, so stop calling me!"

MattJ said...

Yeah the brand is HTC, they've been making them for years and years but until the Touch they've always been branded under contract providers (SPV and MV range in Orange and Vario and MDA range in T-mobile etc.). I was going to get the touch because it is very cool, it's a great size and runs Windows Mobile 6. the problem i had was with connnectivity, I use my phone a lot when I travel for internet and stuff and I'd like to use it more (internet radio and the like). problem witht he touch is it doesn't have 3G and is lacking a few other things I really think should be included as standard on a mobile PC phone now -
I get the impression they left 3G out so they could get it to market ahead of the iPhone (which also lacks any decent coneectivity).

Also now I am 30 i am developing luddite tendencies and I really am not getting on with fully touch screen driven devices, the lack of tactile response just does my head in.

The phone i am after is due as the Vario III in t-mobile but it's the HTC Kaiser or TyTN II from their branding ;)

phones aside, you need to check out the new HTC Shift - it's their Ultra Mobile PC and is the absolute bomb compared to everything else in that market, runs Windows Vista Ultimate AND Pocket PC in parallel. Is very nice indeed, a proper toy! ;p

Olivia said...

The HTC Shift, huh? Well, I am going to be good and stick with my k810i. It's 3G, and so smoooooth.

The other day my broadband dropped out for an hour, and I was fiddling with my phone and found I cuold use it as a modem, and guess what? It was faster than dialup. 116kbps versus 46 kbps. Imagine that.

MattJ said...

Then I am definitely glad I held out lol! Is the 3G pretty swift then?

Alyson said...

lol I totally saw that ad was completely taken aback. It was just completely unexpected. But as far as adverts go, there really are far worse ones!

 
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