I need to buy something, anything

The Electric Light Orchestra – Evil Woman

Today’s Quote: “Diabetes unfortunately is the price you pay for progress.” — Dr. A. Ramachandran, managing director of the M. V. Hospital for Diabetes in Chennai, India.

And You Thought Pop-Up Ads Were Annoying
From the desktop of John Sheesley, Senior Editor, Techproguild

You’ve probably noticed the ads that we have running on TechRepublic. (At least our advertisers hope you have.) Likewise, almost every site on the Internet employs some form of banner or graphical ad unit to help pay the bills and keep the data bits flowing. Clearly the most annoying form of advertising is the infamous pop-up ad which gets in your face and insists you clear it before you can continue doing what you’re doing.

But, recently I’ve noticed a type of ad which is even more annoying and irritating than the pop-up ad. And, for a change, it’s not online.

What I’m talking about are roaming billboards. These are rotating ads that are mounted on the trailer area of panel trucks. They’re motoring equivalent of the old sandwich board ads that people used to use to tell you to “Eat At Joe’s.”

There used to just be one in town, but today I noticed another one. It was painted an obnoxious tree-frog green with rolling ads. Don’t ask me what the ads were for, because I was too annoyed with the concept.

Advertising has its place. I might be a bit biased, but contextual advertising like we do here on TechRepublic can actually be useful. If you’re reading about VoIP in an article online, it can be helpful to jump to an advertiser’s site to see some of the products they have. But when I’m driving down the road, I don’t need a truck in front of me with a spinning picture of the local ambulance chaser. The only reason I’d need that is if I happen to get rear-ended by the person behind me who’s also distracted by the thing.

I’m not a tree hugger by any means, but I find rolling billboards on the backs of trucks belching fumes and consuming hundreds of gallons of diesel at three dollars a gallon as being socially irresponsible. About the only use I find for them is to figure out the vendors NOT to purchase from. I’m not going to patronize and encourage anyone to use such an advertising technique.

What’s next? Are we all someday going to be driving down the roads in cars that look like they’ve just driven off of a NASCAR track?

I haven’t seen any of these rolling ads yet but it sounds annoying. It annoys me that every major sporting event and facility must now include the name of at least one major sponsor in its name. I’m sure this sort of advertising will continue to grow. Soon we’ll that the Doctor Scholl’s Yourtown 4th of July Parade. Advertisements will soon be plastered everywhere we look. It’s already happening. Look at how many people wear clothes with some corporate logo emblazoned on them. Some people are willing, for a modest amount of cash, to have corporate names tattooed on their bodies.

Is the master plan of advertising to gain my patronage by annoying me into submission? Like the guy said, annoying and insulting advertisements only tell me whose products and services I don’t want to patronize. For the life of me, I can’t understand how name recognition without accompanying sales generates profits. Maybe, unlike me, other people actually enjoy being annoyed and insulted.


Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.

2 thoughts on “I need to buy something, anything”

  1. Have you seen the RTA bus that’s plastered all over with the Dyer, Garafalo, Mann, and Shultz ad? It’s like.. all over the whole bus in tiger stripes (because he’s the tiger or something – whatever). Freakishly blinding.


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