Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Pieces of advertising material that have recently annoyed me. Part one of at least three.

A billboard for one of those firms that are sort of to do with money, but not a bank: a hedge fund tracking facility or a financial extrapolation service platform provider, or whatever the hell. Slogan ‘Challenging times mean a great deal to us’. Ok. Good. I imagine they do. Not sure why that means I should give them my money to look after (if indeed that is what they want from me; I have no idea) but maybe they can persuade me with some telling imagery. So, what picture have they opted for to drive home their message of challenging-time-meaningfulness-capacity?Ah. A zebra looking over its shoulder.

I mean, what? Is this some obscure extension of the already quite weird financial/animal symbolism system I’ve not come across? ‘Bull = boom; bear = bust; retrograde zebra = vague expression of foreboding’? Or is the zebra supposed to be clocking his own challenging times approaching from behind, and about to mean a great deal to him – an enormous lion in full pursuit, for instance? In which case, he seems a bit fatalistic about the whole thing . He’s certainly not making any effort to run away. So the company is representing itself as akin to a soon-to-be-devoured ungulate with a death wish. And frankly that doesn’t inspire me to tie my basket of tracker bonds to their base rate. Or whatever it is they want me to do.

4 comments:

Niel Bushnell said...

There may be an off-camera amorous zebra approaching from behind, intent upon some good old-fashioned jungle fun. That could mean a great deal.

Stu said...

Doing the 'great deal' is probably why we find ourselves in such a challenging situation now.

To follow on from neil, any hint of zebra fun (be it jungle or savannah) could be one way of earning your stripes.

(I apologise for that ... I'll see myself out ...)

Pascal said...

Well, these savannah herbivores do optimize their grazing time by waiting until the predator walks into their personal circle of danger before taking of.

The zebra in the ad is confidently waiting to see whether the challenging times coming on will not focus on a nearby, less healthy zebra. A zebra with a limp, or perhaps a pregnant female zebra.

The firm couldn't have been much more accurate in illustrating "Challenging times mean a great deal to us". Short of choosing a hyena.

Pascal said...

Well, these savannah herbivores do optimize their grazing time by waiting until the predator walks into their personal circle of danger before taking of.

The zebra in the ad is confidently waiting to see whether the challenging times coming on will not focus on a nearby, less healthy zebra. A zebra with a limp, or perhaps a pregnant female zebra.

The firm couldn't have been much more accurate in illustrating "Challenging times mean a great deal to us". Short of choosing a hyena.