Where brands condescend

Learning at the feet of the greats can be intimidating. I compare my short missives and long narratives to the Great Margaret Atwood. Would she spit on my words or just sneer? A sneer would thrill me.

The more entertaining option is to learn from others’ FAILS. It’s delightful to read professors of linguistics dress down Dan Brown. I’ve burst into laughter going through archives of terrible ads. A few months ago, I discovered this Facebook Page – Condescending Corporate Brand Page.

Their cover image says it all:

These Corporate Bland Brits deign to share with us inane posts from corporate brands such as the below from a travel agency:

Not every brand makes such egregious mistakes. Most of the time it’s harmless but clueless: creating hashtags no one else will ever use, posting stupid puzzles a toddler could solve.

I’ve been guilty of those things, too. It’s what marketers of social media keep telling us to do. Then, this page challenged me to rethink my – and everyone else’s – approach. It has even sparked a few ideas for more blog posts.

I’m not going to leave you on that contemplative note, though. Please enjoy these Condescending Corporate Brands from America:

Kayak – The Five Commandments of Flying on Commercial Airlines
Apart from these rules being arbitrary, I’d say the majority of them have more to do with cumbrous airline policies. The order of the commandments are arbitrary, too. How does staying seated before your zone is called (why do we even have zones?) come before arm rest hogging and wanton seat reclining? IV and V are the most talked about and controversial issues plaguing weary travelers. It’s also quite disingenuous to command travelers what not to do after they’ve gone through TSA security.

Denny’s – Fan Food Pics 
The food looks gross. The inside of any Denny’s is lit like a corporate dive bar or a gas station right before the zombie apocalypse. None of those extremes are conducive to food photography – the most difficult of all photography. There’s no way to not make that gravy look like a seeping wound or that burger to look like a wilting mass of garbage. It’s my commandment across all social media that Thou Shalt Not Post Photos of Food Unless Thou Art an Expert Food Photographer.

LAVO – Game Day 
Lastly, a local critique. There is no advertising in the entirety of Las Vegas that is more creative than this. None. If you are a pretty good Art Director or Creative Director, you would probably rather pour salt water in your eyes than behold the landscape of Las Vegas advertising. Most hotel/casinos have in-house talent, which means that their corporate interests are paramount over creativity. By creativity I mean doing anything other than slapping some edgy text over a woman in a bikini.


With that, my dears, I retire to the toilet.


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