While stuck in an hour-long traffic jam, I soon came to realise that I have acquired a burning hate for something that has been under my nose the whole time on a day-to-day basis.
No, it isn’t inner city congestion but people who own bumper stickers and car window decals.
For an hour, I was stuck behind a car with stickers that said, “McDonalds: Drive Away”, “Haha, you’re behind me!” and even “Bend Over, I’ll Drive”. All on the same car!
I have no problems with opinions or even (at times) radical views but I thought to myself, ‘what type of person do you have to be to constantly shove your personality, likes and dislikes down the throat of a complete stranger?’
And after coming to this newfound annoyance, I have started to notice more and more ‘look-at-me’s (as I’d like to call them). Even the ones that aren’t so bad, like a vehicle driven by a Caucasian lady with decals that read, “I Love Paris”, “Tour De France 2010” and so on.
Yes I get it, you’re in a foreign country and you’re proud of your nation, heritage and all. I get it, I really do.
But I imagine the screening process of this person in a sticker shop (I am only guessing here) choosing between two decals that say, “Badass On Board” and “Kiss My Tailpipe”, just not knowing which one to pick. With a lot of self-reflection and inner thought, he/she stands there pondering, ‘how will other drivers know the real me’?
This is the equivalent of me lining up for movie tickets, turning around with no warning and yelling to the person behind me, “Japanese food is the best! Say no to anything Tim Burton post Mars Attacks! Sunglasses indoors, really”?
And I find this attitude spills over into everyday advertising. For instance the new Twisties ads that run in cinemas today, where they have to play 2 adverts back to back, both plastered with their logo, just incase you didn’t hear them the first time.
Or those Colgate ads where the creepy-looking dentist approaches unsuspecting women in malls from his Colgate booth/lair, inspecting their mouths, informing them about the benefits of Colgate just about a million and half times.
Or pretty much any ad in jingle form such as Go Compare, We Buy Any Car and the likes.
If you have style and substance, you won’t need to rub your throbbing ego in the faces of your audience. Like the new Nike advert featuring Kobe Bryant, where not once do they mention the words ‘Nike’ in the entire video. And guess what, that advert is funnier and more memorable than all those previous adverts combined!
If you know who you really are, there really isn’t any need to shout, scream and act like full-fledged, self-important adolescent. I truly believe one gains more when they have less to prove.
So, is your brand taking the higher road?