Thursday, December 29, 2005

Some things should remain uncluttered

I understand that things are tough all over--and that public school systems are squeezed tough for cash. But, as someone who just this year started putting his child on those unique-orange-colored busses to take her off to school, the following article really caught me off gaurd.

It seems to me that the official who says that students can't be shielded from ads, so why not have them be ads that the school district approves is some wrong thinking logic. Wrong from the school's standpoint as they are the final arbiter of whether THEIR space will be plastered with ads. And, it's also wrong thinking from the advertisers' point of view (the real estate agency, the local toy store, the ambulance company--that last one makes me pause for a whole other reason). The benefit to your product--or your client's product, as this was likely a local agency-driven deal) is extremely short-lived when you are trying to pioneer a new space. How long before the local toy story who "donates" $$ to the school district to put their ad on the side of the school bus gets outbid by Mattel or Hasbro or some other company. Then, once the local company has broken the baracade the next thing to do will be to sell bus boards inside the bus. The local company would better spend their money by figuring out CREATIVE ways to use current advertising vehicles and cut through the clutter that way. Mattel or Hasbro can certainly outspend you local-toy-store owner if this advertise on schoolbuses goes national and becomes an outlet for media buyers to consider. But, can they write a radio spot that mentions the names of the local schools? Or talks about things that parents from the local community can relate to? Of course not.

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