Thursday, December 20, 2007

Speaking of Overly-Cutesy Marketing

My blog posts are getting prescient! I just talked about how marketing for our soon-to-be-new station, WITH, could easily drive off a cliff by being too "clever".

Then last night, my wife shows me a flyer confirming her voter registration in Monroe County, New York. At the top of the flyer, in a big bold logo, it says "You're Right to Vote"

My wife was an English major at a very liberal arts University. And trust me, once that stuff gets in your blood, you never get it out. She was completely confused and fairly convinced that they'd made a giant typo with "You're" (as in, it should've been "Your").

I, being a political junkie (another thing that gets in your blood) immediately saw what I thought was inappropriate political bias by using the phrase "right" in an electoral mailing (as in, "right-wing" conservative).

Even if both of us are completely wrong...a distinct possibility...this is clearly a case of marketing running amok by trying to be "too clever". I suspect someone thought it'd be cool to send a message that it's both your God-given right to exercise voter choice and also tell people it's a good thing to vote (aka "you're on the right/correct side of things").

I suppose it is clever, but it's trying too hard. I think there's two layers of cleverness and that destroys the logic too much to make it easy to recognize the cleverness. For example, the clever misspelling of "You're" changes the meaning of "right" so much that it makes hard to reconcile. I don't think you can have only one layer of cleverness in this particular phrase, so I don't have a real way to "fix" this slogan without discarding it entirely...which admittedly I'm loathe to do since I respect thoughtful attempts at cleverness.

But either way, this one just didn't work for me or my wife. God only knows how many other people it didn't work for, either.

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