I find myself befuddled at the power of crap advertising. I’m sure most companies spend dissimilar amounts on advertising – some, like car ads, no doubt involve massive sums of cash falling into the hands of marketing people you wouldn’t care to share a meal with (for fear they might cause it to come back up again mid-way through). On the other hand, you would hope that the confused.com Internet insurance broker paid a reletively small amount – and just happen to have got themselves a winning formula.
I mean, the ads stink. Seriously. All that odd nonsense with 2-dimensional props – I don’t even know what that means. Does it mean anything? Perhaps, it means – we spend all our money on caring for you, and get a bunch of crayon-hungry orphans working for toffees do all the scenery work for our adverts. Also, what’s with the ‘Charlie Higson-a-like’ they have grinning and gurning his way through the recent ads. I’d rather have a quiet drink down the pub with the elephant from elephant.co.uk than that guy. You’d probably end up wanting to punch him a lot if exposed for more than 30 seconds at a time.
What works is the tagline, for some reason. “Con-fused-dot-com” or however you might render it in type. Suddenly, I find myself engaged in (and listening to) conversations where people feel the need to end their sentences with a “dot com” rather than a full stop. “Did anyone see that internal memo… I’m confused.com.” … “Anyone planning on doing the washing up… dot com?” … “I’m just off for a Number Two dot com.”
I’m not certain it’s necessarily selling more insurance, but like Micheal Winner’s “calm down, dear”, it has that catchphrase quality about it that allow it to linger on long after the adverts that spawned it have passed into oblivion. I’d be interested in seeing any studies about the phenomenon that might exist, and whether these catchy soundbites have any particular impact on behaviour.