Thursday, December 03, 2009
I saw a TV ad for Intel. It showed a nerd/geek playing a practical joke on a colleague. This involved changing a term in an enormous calculation on a glass sheet. They fell about laughing and a caption triumphantly announced something about their sense of humour being different from ours. Here's a similar ad. Meanwhile, there's a Windows 7 campaign showing ordinary 'users' coming up with bright ideas for the OS and being applauded by geeks/nerds. I resent the term 'user'. It's ugly and implies a degree of contempt, but it seems now to be unavoidable. More importantly, what freak, deep in the bowels of Wintel, thought that such ads would make people feel good about their products? Basically, the ads are condescending, treating 'users' as serfs of the geekocracy/nerdarchy. Their actual intention was, I think, to humanise the gerds/neeks. But even if they achieved this, the outcome would be negative. The point being, as Apple knows, we're not interested in what these people are like, we are interested in what they make. But then advertising as a whole seems to have moved to a different planet. Ditch the nerks, I say, apart from anything else, they all look as though they smell.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 4:42 pm