537861-1158641-thumbnail.jpg Generally speaking, I don’t like when advertisers try to exploit tragedies or borrow too much interest from current events. It always seems to me like those tactics are executed in the same way a company would use a super-model to advertise a computer rather than just let the consumer experience the product for all its beauty the way the designers meant them to.

This traditional and old school thinking still plagues the advertising industry and the brands they represent.

Below is an ad from a recent campaign using Harry Connick Jr. to promote a new Lincoln while attempting to be part of the discussion of the New Orleans rebuilding effort. What seems interesting about this whole thing to me is not the advertising pundit politics but rather how the actual consumer speaks about it when they are given the opportunity.

If you read the comments from here and here, you’ll see that there’s quite a range of opinion on the attempt - from negative to flat or positive feedback. Kind of interesting considering the headline of the Autoblog entry was “Outrage expressed over Harry Connick Jr.’s Lincoln ad.” What I think they meant was that “The advertising industry is a bunch of babies yelling at each other for no real reason and Ad Age started the fire.” :)

The caption from Ad Age:

In this Young & Rubicam spot, Ford exploits the victims of Hurricane Katrina to advertise luxury SUVs.

Biased much? Geez.

One blog is an industry blog, (Autoblog) riffing off of the second (Ad Age posting) that was flaming the attempt at this type of advertising. But the comments and response on both blogs tend have a life of their own. The Ad Age blog’s comments tend to be a little inflammatory (like the article itself) at times but still range from flat to positive and back again. The comments on Auto blog are quite different.

This one sums if up for me:

When is enough enough? Why is everyone so easily offended. I wish the whiny babies of the world would just please shut up already.

The advertising pundits are freaking out. The automotive blog reader (consumer?!) doesn’t care. PEOPLE SEE WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE. They are the consumer, they’re smart and they’re what…? That’s right. IN CHARGE. So get used to it.

As one commenter asked: Where is your focus?

Mine was on Mr. Connick Jr., and his stories. Think about this and how you see the world. Half full/empty?