Friday, July 04, 2008

Mixed Messages?

I wonder if advertisers ever consider the full portfolio of the celebrities they choose to endorse their products. It seems to me that sometimes, the impact of one can harm the possible benefit of another advertisement by the same person.

Take Ulster's own James Nesbitt, also known as Jimmy Nesbitt. His dulcet tones can be heard on the voice-over for the Isle of Man ferry service at 'steam hyphen packet dot com.' Soothing, relaxing, sure the ferry journey itself sounds like a holiday, let alone the time you get to spend on the Isle of Man with its tourist attractions and possibilities.

All very well and good, until you're driving in your car (maybe even to the ferry), when you hear Jimmy's voice-over on another advert. In the advert, he sounds like he's about to be sick, as he complains about the dodgy journey on a boat. Indeed, the only chance the boat has for success is the bottle of bubbly that was smashed on its side for good luck on its maiden voyage. Such odds are slim, compared to the confidence a car buyer can achieve when they buy a car from Network Q, the Vauxhall multi-point check on used cars.

Now, maybe the Isle of Man ferry people haven't heard of the other ad, but it seems to me that if you saw the two adverts together, you would get the impression that the Isle of Man ferry wouldn't be too reliable, and that there's a fair chance of seasickness. And I'm reckoning that they wouldn't be too happy with the implied link.

How about our advertising? Do we manage to make a good show of living for Jesus, advertising his way for most of the week, but then turn around and seem to dismiss him?

Those old words of Elijah ring through the centuries, as clear as ever: 'How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' (1 Kings 18:21)

Jimmy Nesbitt may have to decide between ferries or cars, but the more important question for us is this: Who is your advertising executive? Which 'brand' name will you advertise and live for?

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