October 10, 2006

Strange Ads

I've been seeing these really strange ads on the metro lately. They're print ads for a cell service called Pingo. However, it took me a long time to figure this out based on how the ads are set up.

I've seen 3 different Pingo ads so far, and they all follow the same formula. For example:


Pang in Phuket.

I've also seen one for Priyanka in Panjaka. I wondered why Pingo had ads up all over the metro in foreign languages, and thought it was really odd. It wasn't until I ran across the ad with Paolo that I figured out what they were doing, even if I'd never heard of the city in Brazil they were referencing.

Is it just me or is there a glaring problem with this ad campaign? I'm relatively educated, and can find just about every major country on a map, and I didn't get it. Me thinks they forgot to factor in that Americans don't know were Portland is on map, so figuring out that Phuket is the name of a city somewhere in Thailand (I had to google that) definately isn't going to happen. Then when you chose names like Priyanka -- well, it's not Betty or Sue, so it's not likely that your average Joe is going to figure out that's a person's name.

It's sad that Americans are that ignorant about the world. However, I'm thinking an ad campaign that uses names of people and cities that start with the letter "p" to go with the "p" in Pingo isn't such a great idea. Sure the alliteration is catchy, but I think most people are going to scratch their heads and think "Hum, what is this?"

UPDATE: A little yahoo research revealed that Pingo is a calling card comany. Presumably the only calling card you'll ever need again. I tried writing that last sentence using nothing but words that started with the letter "p" and it just didn't work.


Neil Morse said...

I still love the bus ads for Snickers bars that read, "Hung! Erect! O my!" My all time favorite.

khouria jen said...

the things i miss out on by not living in a metro area!