I was on my way home last night, full of beer and burger and a bit uncomfortable, when I spotted this waffle in the back of the Evening Standard newspaper:
It’s one of those incredibly long-winded ‘advertisement features’ (A.K.A an advertorial). It’s from a company called Moneycorp and is all about international money transfers (I didn’t bother to read it all, and that’s – in part – the point).
Do these ads still work?
Who can be arsed to read all of that, even on a long commute home?
It’s an entire page of pure waffle that’s clearly trying to sell me into a service, and it’s in the way of the genuine editorial / stories that I actually want to read.
Advertisers have to understand that just because they wrote it, doesn’t mean that the general public want (or can be bothered to) read it.
Just because the advertiser loves their own company and thinks it’s the best one out there, doesn’t mean that others do, or that they’d want to read an entire page about that company.
We’re all busy. We have limited time. We might have 30 minutes ‘down time’ in which to read the newspaper and listen to some songs. We haven’t got time to read a full page about someone else’s company – it’s boring.
And why are the testimonials in these advertorials/features always from someone with as generic a name as ‘Michael Hughes’ (or ‘Mr Hughes’)?
Is it so that we can’t look that person up to check the validity of his claims? Could we call up Moneycorp and ask to speak to ‘Mr Hughes’?
I think we’re all wise to this type of (quite spammy) advertising now. We’re no longer as naive. Full-page advertorials of this kind might have worked 50 years ago, but not now.