Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More ads that make no sense

Time for another installment of "Ads in the subway that Alex has issues with".

In the last few weeks, I've seen a bunch of ads that have the tagline "Kids with asthma can ... [perform activity X]" and then say something like "Is asthma preventing your child from [performing activity X] ? Talk to your doctor !". Choices of [activity X] are playing, sleeping, learning, and doing sports.

Here's the thing I don't get: is the assumption behind these ads that people whose children have asthma -don't- talk to their doctors about trying to provide their kids with some relief, and need to be encouraged to do so ? Maybe that there is a subset of parents who regard asthma as the inescapable result of Divine Will, and are not aware that it's treatable ? The ads aren't sponsored [at least not directly] by a pharma/biotech company that just happens to make asthma medication; it's underwritten by a bunch of generic "benevolent" organizations. That seems to rule out the profit motive, so I'm left wondering why anybody would roll out such content-free advertising.

Maybe the next ad campaign these folks will come up with will be targeted at people with serious injuries and say something like "Have you just lost a limb and are geysering blood ? If so, you may want to consider consulting a medical professional."

And while we're on the topic of meaningless ads, there was one I saw last year, promoting this lady's candidacy for sheriff, that said "Actions have consequences. Think before you act.", to which the only appropriate response, I think, is "No sh!t, Sherlock".

One thing I will miss about using Boston's subway system is the opportunity it afforded me to be curmudgeonly about it. A friend of mine performs a similar service for the Seattle bus system, with the difference that she likes public transport, so her observations tend to be much more positive than mine. Or maybe that's just because Seattle is superior to Boston in this respect as well, leading to less opportunities to gripe ;-)


Blogger Steve Eisner said...

Hi, Alex. It's funny how these things work out: I had just lost a limb, and was geysering blood. I didn't know what to do about that, so I hit the internet to find out. Luckily, I stumbled across your blog! Thanks for the tip.

Anyway, congrats on the new family addition & welcome (soon) back to Seattle! I'm sure we can share some war stories, being a Boston transplant myself ;)


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