January 22nd, 2005

rain

(no subject)

Today, I am annoyed by marketing. Of course, pretty much everyone is annoyed by marketing every day, but today I have specific complaints. The first one, which inspired me to rant, is Dell. They have on their website a statement that some of their laptops are "1.6 inches thin". No they fucking aren't. They're 1.6 inches thick. Their thickness is 1.6 inches. Look!
 

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1.6"
 

The distance that is measured, and called thickness

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The corresponding imaginary and impossible distance that would be called thinness
Second order of the day is an advertisement for hardwood floors which showed us a ballbearing hitting the floor, labelled "273 gram impact" (and several before that with smaller weights). First things first, that's hardly a very compelling advertisement for your product - when I walk into a room there are repeated impacts of quite a lot more than a kilogram, and I'm not a heavy person. But more importantly, what the fuck does a 273 gram impact entail? The important factor, I believe, is a peak pressure - how much force is resisted over how small an area. You could be forgiven for just stating a force, since we would have a reasonable understanding of how large an area a 273 gram ballbearing's impact will cover. A mass, though, is essentially meaningless without a distance it was dropped from, or the speed at which it was travelling. There was no clue as to that - the advertisers give us a closeup played in slow motion. I can only assume that their floors' best ability is their ability to resist scratches from blunt objects weighing approximately a quarter of a kilogram dropped from a height of about 15 centimetres. Sign me up!

And third, my bank advertised on TV stating "we spend our working hours saying yes to car loans, yes to mortgages (etc.)". Towards the end of this spiel, there is a tiny near-illegible subscript on the screen, "to qualified applicants". Well of course you say yes to qualified applicants. Every bank, building society, credit union, shopkeeper and secret spy agency spends their working hours saying yes to fucking qualified applicants. What's the point of such a deceptive ad, if all it's going to do is trick people who aren't qualified applicants into coming into the bank and asking for things that they won't be able to get? Nobody wins.

If it weren't for the facts that my bank is excellent and that Dell have the best spec-to-price ratio I've found with regard to high-end laptops, I would take my business elsewhere on the basis of these stupid marketing efforts. But at least I can boycott the hardwood floors. If "intending never to purchase any sort of floor surface at all" can count as a boycott.