Wednesday 11 September 2002

Lazy advertising

Although far from my desires to turn this website into some sort of ranting forum, I'm irritated immensely by the current campaign for T-Mobile's picture messaging and need to vent about it.

T-Mobile is a mobile phone service provider who have just launched phones with a built-in digital camera and a service for sending the resulting pictures. They have accompanied the launch with a press and TV campaign featuring tennis players cum celebrity married couple Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.

The press campaign carries the slogan "Be the First". But why, dammit why? If I walked into a shop tomorrow to buy one of these phones and discovered that I was indeed "The First" due to low uptake of the service, who ON EARTH would I send my low-resolution, badly lit pictures of gurning friends to?

The TV advert is worse, featuring Ms Graf being handed a picture of her husband with the words 'Find me' scrawled on the back. She photographs the picture and messages it to her many, globally distributed friends (all of whom already have the necessary phone, giving the lie to the print slogan) with the associated text 'have you seen this man?'.

If I was Andre Agassi I'd feel a bit miffed that my wife thought it necessary to send a picture of my really rather famous face to our friends to ask where I was, in case they perhaps couldn't remember what I look like. Fortunately a helpful tennis umpire is able to tell Steffi that her husband is in the middle of an important match by photographing him and sending it back. What the hell kind of wife is that anyway - managing to forget that her husband is in the final of the French Open.

It's a badly scripted, lazy piece of advertising, relying entirely on the allure of its stars. Grrrr.

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