Marketing to Morons 101

Let’s talk briefly about advertising and marketing. Specifically, let’s discuss the recent Chase credit card commercial in which an extremely pregnant woman evidently doesn’t discover that she is having triplets until very late in her third trimester, and decides to tell her husband by racking up a huge amount of credit card debt before he gets home.

When she shows him all of her purchases, the husband faints because – obviously – he too is an idiot.

But that isn’t even what really gets me about this ad. No, I’m used to commercials portraying us all as clueless morons – especially men. (Can anyone say “Bud Light Commercials”?)

…but to treat us as such?

Here’s my beef: When the woman shows her man all of the crap she bought and assembled while he was gone (an impressive feat for a 8-month pregnant lady, by the way) – all in sets of three – and then the husband faints… we get it. We already got the joke.

Ha ha ha… there are 3 car seats, 3 cribs… we get it!

She is having triplets.


So why then do they feel the need to show the idiot husband on the floor saying the word, “triplets”?

Because they honestly think we are too dumb to get their stupid joke without being told the conclusion we were supposed to reach?


2 thoughts on “Marketing to Morons 101

  1. I completely agree. Wouldn’t this man have known months ago he was going to be the father os triplets? Sorry, I’m a father and I know the process. If he doesn’t know by now, he is an idiot.

    But, aside from that, I have noticed men are looking “more and more stupider” in commercials. I enjoy a pratfall now and again, but for a guy to be dumb just for the sake of being dumb is no fun. And then pointing out the obvious only makes it worse.

    Years ago, there was a movement in television sitcoms to make the dad the dumb one for the sake of the humor. People started to get offended by the use of dumb blondes and unaware wives, so insert Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, and others. Now, men could take the heat. After all, we men have broad shoulders.

    That shift in the father figure caused an entire generation to view their fathers differently. No more Ward Cleaver or Dr. Huckstable. Dad’s, who are the more fun parent, became the less intelligent parent, too as society copied/reflected what was on the tube. Insert a lack of respect.

    Back to the advertising, it’s sad, but there are people in this country who need the obvious pointed out to them. There are many levels of understanding in humor. Some people laugh their heads off at The Three Stooges but don’t have a clue what Frazier is talking about – and vise versa.

    I’m assuming in the ad above the bank is looking to attract men who have lost their minds and need everything spelled out for them. I’m not in that target demographic.

    Humor is great in an ad. Great only if it fits the product and the demographic. Are we, as Americans, so stupid and unaware that now we need the humor spelled out for us? Wouldn’t the advertisers understand their market well enough to know how to relate to them? If they’re selling Snuggies on late night TV, they may need to be more obvious with the humor and the campiness, but a bank as well established as Chase would know their customers well enough to know subtle humor would work better?

    – Dave

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