I click on ads very selectively. I just clicked on an ad because its message irks me for some reason: “Your corporate communications are too important to be left to just anybody.” The message in the ad, however, comes not from the words I just quoted, and it gives me an opportunity to harp on a point I have been making in this blog for a week or so.
The message comes because that quote is paired with a picture of a 20-something young man dressed in jeans, a V-necked argyle knit sweater, and a beige corduroy jacket, albeit slouching a bit. Since the advertiser is a company that claims to do educational marketing through multimedia, I find this ad not only rather silly but especially so for a media company. Should corporations avoid interviewing young men dressed like I just described before they ask them about their programming, design or media skills? Might not 20-something males be more informed about technology than fashion? The folks who came up with Google, or Facebook or MySpace or Napster or other similar dot com success wonders could have been caught guilty of the same fashion faux pas.Ã‚Â The even sillier part is that one of the founders of this media company is shown on their site in a tee-shirt.
Before dismissing this discussion as lightweight, connect this with my earlier posts about the close connection between image and text. The text in the ad has little meaning and no impact without the image of the young man. The subtler message is – oh, I don’t know – people who can’t afford suits can’t work a camera?
Sadly, in our digital world in which this company claims to be able to think outside the box, their vision is still trapped inside the box.