Monday, February 23, 2009

Big, Huge, Amazing, Glorious Balls

I think it was last Friday when I flipped on the little television on our kitchen counter as I was waiting for my Chunky Soup to finish warming in the microwave when I was confronted with a commercial that is 50% fascinating marketing, 50% crappy local TV commercial, and 200% of overwhelming ball-havingness (the world's first ever 300% commercial). This particular television commercial is from a local windows and siding company called Hansons' (indicating one person named Hansons who owns the company, several Hansons who own the company, or some fictitious name to remind us of the Lions' greatest asset, Jason Hanson). Over the past years, they're the company with that jingle that you hear on the TV and you think to yourself "that is the company from which I should not purchase siding or windows because of that jingle." Actually I know nothing about the quality of their product so I can't say anything truly negative, but I do know that this one commercial shows a combination of marketing savvy and shamelessness the likes of which the world has never before seen.

I hope you've seen this ad because you will know exactly what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, I'll try to recap. The Hansons' spokesguy takes a moment at the beginning of the commercial to explain that "we all know the economy is tough" and implicitly that finding a job is very hard to do (true, certainly, that), so Hansons' has been kind enough to take some of their "advertising dollars" and instead of spending them on traditional advertising, they have hired 100 sales representatives for the greater good of putting Michigan back to work. So please, when a sales representative comes to your house to talk to you about siding and windows that you probably don't want, don't dismiss this person out of hand, because Hansons' is doing its part to stimulate our state. In one fell swoop, Hansons makes you feel guilty about not giving the time to a sales representative, and then even more guilty for not purchasing something from that representative because you know they work almost entirely on commission. If the economy is hurting, it's your fault person who doesn't want windows and siding!

After watching this commercial, I was stunned and dumbstruck for a moment. I couldn't figure out if I was furious that they were clearly attempting to profit from this twisted combination of financial distress and guilt-induced purchasing (thereby resulting in possibly more financial distress) or a tiny bit pleased that, just maybe, they actually had hired some formerly unemployed individuals who were just trying to make an honest and earnest living. This is a move that requires gargantuan balls because Hansons' has to know that most people will probably go through the same kind of confused reaction as me - with part of that reaction being anger at their attempt to manipulate and profit from loss. I don't know who came up with this 30 second piece of befuddling brilliance, but you successfully short-wired my brain. Even still I am uncertainty as to whether or not I am offended by this commercial, but either way you've gotten me to blog about it. You win this round, Jason Hansons'.

1 comment:

Nick said...

The Hanson's "marketing team"(can't think of a better name for it) get paid based on providing a lead to a salesman, I believe. My father in law was working at a homeless shelter where a man approached him about this very thing. If the homeless man could provide Hanson's with a lead for a salesman to give a quote, they would get paid a sum of around $50 if I remember correctly. My father in law dutifully said he would allow the man to use his name and was contacted by a salesman who came through and provided a rather outlandish quote, as they did for us when we purchased new windows for our house. I haven't seen the commercial yet, I'll have to look for it!