Kitchener-Waterloo/Guelph/London/Hamilton Radio & Media Forum

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November 22, 2016 6:42 PM  #1

"I know it sounds like a promotion ..."

That's what the former Coupon Queen says in the latest Subway TV commercial.  It's wonderfully cast; it's a wonderful set and boy the price is right so I am motivated to spend my money there.  Honestly.  Bull's eye for a commercial, I think you'd agree.

But this has been something I've been wondering about for some time:  using the word "promotion", or "promo"  in a commercial. We in the business get it. But do Mr and Mrs Middleclass  know what it means?  Does it motivate them?  "Boy, I better get down there before the promotion ends!"  And even if they do know the meaning, is it a word copywriters should be using? To me there is a negative connotation to it.  It's what my father derisively dismissed as "a come on." Even she says, "I know it sounds like a promotion."  It sure doesn't sound like something positive. You could easily substitute my father's "come on" for "promotion."

It's abated a bit lately, but I also felt that recreating a recording session with the announcer talking to the control room and vice versa was "inside baseball." There was an epidemic of that for a while.  Did the producers think that everyone got the Roz/Frasier dynamic and would thus get the scenario of an announcer  would stop in the middle of reading a commercial to say, "Wait! That can't be right!"  To which the control room says, "Yes it is, Sheldrake. Just read the copy!"  Isn't that taking a wrecking ball to the fourth wall?   Not to mention the much ballyhooed theatre of the mind.  



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