A Lesson in Advertising

So I’m going through my mail on this Monday when I come across a magazine. Actually, a brochure from Larrimor’s. I bought a couple of ties there once so I guess I’m on their permanent mailing list.

So I’m going through the spring fashion maagzine to see what the stylish man is going to be wearing this season … when I come up on this ….


 I may not be an advertisiting expert, but I know that seeing a grown man bawling is not going to get me to buy the suit he is wearing no matter how much I like it.

Advertising has kind of gotten away from its basic premise: to show you a product in the most favorale light possible so that you will buy it. That’;s why you see 20-s0mething models pushing age-defying make-up and the skinniest models alive all showing you the benefits of weight loss plans. The aren’t there to show you reality, but rather a skewed sense of reality. It’s  a place where as a man if you wear the right clothes, the right cologne and drive the right car, you can have any woman you want.

However, I aslo saw something about advertisiting today that I had not expected: how one image can play differently depending on who you are. I showed the ad to Michelle Wright and she thought it was a stroke of genius. She saw an attractive man, well-dressed and conflicted. She could see all the possibilities for his grief and could feel his pain.

I took the ad and showed Sally Wiggin and she was also mesmerized by the obviously beauty of this gentleman contrasted with the pain in his face. Both agreed that the ad did something that most ads don’t: It got them to stop and care about something they normally don’t. Mens fashions.

I guess I can see their point. When I saw the image, the first thing I asked myself was he was so sad. Was it the loss of a family member? Did his girlfriend leave him or his wife divorce him? Did he just look at his 401K?

Then again, you are talking to the guy who doesn’t watch Super Bowl commercials because I’m a bottom line guy. Tell me what you are selling and how much it costs. I guess that’s why advertising works with some people, but not others.

%d bloggers like this: