November 29, 2004

David makes fun of Goliath

During a commercial break while watching Monday Night Football tonight, I saw a (dumb) commercial that reminded me about this article I read earlier today. I'm not even going to talk about the Bud v. Miller portion of it as that would be, frankly, a waste of breath over bad beer.

But the new NetZero ads really caught my eye over the holiday weekend, and I thought the discussion about their tactics was very interesting. I have to admit that I simply couldn't believe how dead-on the parody ads were, and how great a job they did at getting actors who look so much like those in the AOL ads, especially the admin in the lovely chartreuse blouse. That moment of "Ohhh" the first time you see one and realize that you're not seeing what you thought you were seeing is priceless because it sticks with you, which is what I'm sure NetZero was counting on in this series of commercials.

I agree that the AOL ads are pretty lame, and I'm sure people are going to have a field day making fun of both AOL and the ads, especially now. As I've mentioned before, I have been, I am, and I will continue to be an AOL customer. (Save it, I'm immune.) Yet I am aware as the next person that their incessant mailing of CDs is annoying, their ads with the little man were dumb, their prices are higher than they should be and they are now ubiquitous to the point of absurdity even when almost everyone seems to hate them.

But hats off to whoever came up with the concept for NetZero, and to whoever was in charge of getting it done and on the air so quickly. I do hope, however, that it doesn't spawn a bunch of copycats because it will get old fast.

Extra 1: Many bonus points to anyone who knows what the word "micturating" (found in a portion of the article that otherwise did not interest me) means without looking it up. Hint: Context is everything.

Extra 2: Did anyone else catch sight of a rather odd sign in the end zone of tonight's game following a field goal/PAT in the first half? Could a new trend be in the works?