Sunday, December 23, 2007

An Advertising Campaign That Ticks Me Off? Priceless

I have always enjoyed MasterCard's "Priceless" teevee advertisements, which show viewers the the price tags for a handful of items (purchased, presumably, and then reveal the true value that comes from using those items: more time with one's children, traveling to new places, and so on.

The message is that MasterCard allows you to buy the things that allows you to have priceless experiences. (Yes, the ads aren't perfect: they can be somewhat schmaltzy, and they don't do a very good job of differentiating MasterCard from other payment methods.)

I am not enjoying the latest iteration of the "Priceless" campaign, the "Priceless Pep Talks" ads featuring Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (whom, I suspect, is now required by law to be featured in at least one out of every three ads appearing during football games).

In each "Priceless Pep Talks" ad, Manning squints into the camera and says something sarcastic.

In one, for example, Manning suggests men should just concede that they'll never have six-pack abs unless they're young or professional athletes like him. In another, Manning mocks men who drive minivans, and then recommends those drivers paint his jersey number and flames on the sides of their vehicles.

There are other "Priceless Pep Talks" spots, and they're all dreck.

I can't imagine what the point of the advertising campaign might be, unless there was a contest on Madison Avenue to see which advertising agency could put Peyton Manning in the most inane commercials. If that's the case, I don't quite know who the winner is, but it certainly isn't MasterCard.

That is all.

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