Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Truth in fine print

April 18th, 2013

Truth in fine print

Hold on here. Unlimited mobile phone service for a tiny fraction of what I’m paying now? That sounds too good to be true.

Let’s take a closer look.

There's the rub

Ah, there’s the rub. That’s the price for seven days of phone service. (Because who needs a phone longer than a week, right?)

$13.99 per week is what us normal people call “$60 per month.” Suddenly that amazing deal doesn’t sound so amazing, does it?

 
(Spotted at the dollar store at Mission and 17th.)

Facebook’s targeted advertising isn’t

January 22nd, 2013

Not exactly targeted advertising

ZOMG with all these new privacy violations Facebook advertisers know EVERYTHING about you and stalk your every movement and…

…wait, they think I want Mission burritos delivered to the Marina?

Never mind.

I mean, they’re right about me being lazy enough to get a burrito delivered instead of walking three blocks, but the Marina? Come on.

Things San Franciscans despise: sidewalk advertising

February 12th, 2011

img_1856

San Francisco is a city of people who are indecisive and disagreeable. We even manage to disagree about really basic things, to the point where basic issues like panhandling and slow public transportation go unsolved for decades.

But when corporations use litter and graffiti as a form of advertising, San Franciscans have a rare moment of clarity and unity. The same way we’re against fighting for oil in the middle east, we’re willing to hold protests and call in the national guard over advertising agencies stenciling our sidewalks.

We didn’t stand for Levi’s or Microsoft spray-painting our sidewalks. Today, we won’t stand for HP littering the city either. They’ve put QR code posters up on the sidewalks and on street poles all over the Mission.

(Side note: did you know that HP stands for “Horrible Printer”? Now you know.)

Why are San Franciscans against sidewalk advertising? Well, first of all, public space is for the people, not for corporations. A coffee stand at the park? NO! A taco truck on the street outside Best Buy? NO! Oh wait a sec, those tacos are delicious. You know what? Never mind. We’ll discuss this later… OM NOM NOM.

Second, corporate advertising on public property offends our artistic sensibilities. Public art is fine with San Franciscans, and even though we can’t agree on whether or not graffiti is art, we can agree that corporate graffiti is NOT art. Art isn’t supposed to be an expression of greed unless you’re really ironic about it, like Andy Warhol or the guy who makes OBEY merchandise.

Now, every rule as its exceptions, and I found one down the street from the offensive HP sidewalk pollution.

img_1854

I think it’s safe to say that a handmade flier taped to the sidewalk advertising a party at El Rio is an exception to our “no sidewalk advertising” rule. Because, well, we make exceptions for things we enjoy — like tacos.

WTF: Bell Plumbing advertisement

January 13th, 2010

I’ve been noticing some strange ads lately for a company called Bell Plumbing North here in San Francisco. Their ad is one major WTF after another.

And then some.

Here’s the ad in question:

bell plumbing

So there’s a smiling guy with the word PLUMBING in big red letters next to him. Not so strange… or is it?

Let’s look a little closer.

phone

Yes, that’s a phone. It’s an ad for plumbing, and he’s holding a phone. Not a pipe; a PHONE.

What does a phone have to do with plumbing? Everybody knows you can call a plumber on a phone, you don’t need this concept presented visually.

Is the idea that you can use a telephone to call a plumber particularly surprising to anyone? The add effectively states “we’re not like those other plumbing places where you have to send a telegram.”

But it gets stranger — look at his shirt.

shirt logo

Do you see what I see? Because what I see is this:

bell telephone

But wait… that’s the logo for Bell Telephone. The guy in the ad is wearing a phone company uniform. Does he work for the phone company during the day, and moonlight as a plumber at night?

Or perhaps he’s the customer. He’s a phone operator, and the men’s room at the phone company is flooding, so he’s calling a plumber.

No explanation could possibly be satisfactory.

Lastly, let’s look at where this company advertises.

telephone book

Yes… that’s the front cover of a phone book. They advertise on the PHONE BOOK. Phones… plumbing? Huh?

Where’s the connection? If they were a company that sold phones I would get it. But now I’m more confused than ever, and the circle of insanity is complete.