Aug 11, 2008

how not to make an advertisement

Seth Stevenson lets his readers vent: which current ads do they hate? There are too many to choose from.

Special mention goes to Billy Mays, hawking health insurance for iCan with the same glib tones and forced gestures he employs when demonstrating cleaners. Writes Stevenson,
This ad is kind of amazing. Watch Billy Mays' hand gestures—they never stop! Hands go out, palms facing each other. Hands come back in, fists balled. Hands go back out, index fingers extended. It's either OCD or some sort of primitive sign language. I think it's happening because he has no tangible product to demonstrate. They should have let him use a sheaf of insurance documentation to wipe up spills with. Or maybe a wallet card for dabbing on grout?
If you're a speech and debate coach, don't-be-like-Billy gives you at least a full week's lesson plan.

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