Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Generic Advertising At Its Best

I challenge anyone to argue with anything this guy says. It's all so bland, so obvious, so "no duh what on Earth is your point?" repetitive and cloying (right down to the dull Empty Room with Escalator background) that for a moment, it left me wondering "who in the world would be inspired to go anywhere based on this ad?"

Then it hit me- despite what we are told at the end of the commercial with the "Possibility City" tag line, it's entirely conceivable that the pitchman has no idea what municipality he's supposed to be talking about. It's easy to imagine this ad being used to encourage tourism and business investment in ANY city ANYWHERE in the United States. This commercial has NOTHING to do with Louisville, Kentucky- it's just a standard, Fill-in-the-name-of-customer-here advertisement available to any local Chamber of Commerce looking for a cheap little spot to run during baseball games or between other commercials.

Not that this ad even succeeds in encouraging investment or tourism. I mean, if you hear a single line which suggests that I should open my wallet and spend some money in Louisville Kentucky OR ANYWHERE ELSE, please point it out to me. All I hear in this ad is that cities are iffy, Hit or Miss propositions. They can be great. Or they can suck. They can provide inspire. Or Depress. They can provide a wonderful education. Or they can beat you over the head and deprive you of aforementioned wallet. And on and on.

Anyway, to the point: I will be in Possibility City for the next nine days, grading Advanced Placement essays with 1200 history teachers from all over the Not As Full of Possibilities as Louisville United States. So my next blog update won't appear until June 9. I will, however, be checking my email and responding to comments while I'm away. Later!!


  1. Fair enough. But what about. . .




    Let us know when you are in town. We'd love to show you what is truly possible here. https://twitter.com/PossibilityCity

  2. That actor... he's one of those guys. You know- you see them in second or third behind the leading man. He's the smarmy best friend. He's that guy you can't place.

    I had to Google-search (then I realized I could click on the damn video and that his name was right there). Because I knew this guy.

    Bruce Altman- character actor. He's been in everything or been a bit player in everything.

    He's so familiar that you trust him! He's been in our living rooms for years and we feel like we know him! And this ad is just as vague as he is! Let's go to Louisville!

  3. Hey Brett- don't misunderstand me. I LOVE Louisville- I go to every Bats game while I'm there, I love Fourth Street Live, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the waterfront park is just amazing. I was criticizing the commercial, not the city, which is wonderful.

  4. I recognize this actor. He's been on Law & Order several times.

    This ad reminds me of all the radio ads that have lines like "the money stays right here -- in our local area..." or "looking for test subjects in this area right now..."

    Of course, "our local area" or "right here" could be anywhere and everywhere.

  5. Great; an ad about "That City" starring "That Guy from That Show". "Generic" is pretty much dead on.