Reading too deeply into these things since 1981
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Not as Intriguing a Question as You Seem to Think

August 10th, 2012 | Posted by Philip J Reed in advertising | internet | music

The image above is a screengrab of an ad I came across while doing some linkbuilding. It hopes to get me to click it by enticing me with the following question:

What do Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix and Yanni have in common?

Well, they’re all musicians. So…done?

I’m sure there’s some more interesting and obscure connection between them — or I assume there has to be, by mere virtue of the fact that the question was posed at all — but doesn’t this enticement fall at the first hurdle when all three things are immediately connected anyway?

After all, it’s not like these three individuals had minor, relatively-unknown careers in music before they became famous for something else…music is the first thing anybody thinks of when they hear those names.

Maybe the advertiser just doesn’t understand how these things are meant to work. You can’t ask something like “What do bananas, coconuts and oranges have in common?” and expect people to give you the chance to say “They all have inedible rinds” or something. They’re going to say, “They’re all fruits.”

That’s that. The question is answered. There’s no incentive to await further information because the question, as you posed it, was hardly a question at all. It was just a list of three things that slot quite obviously into the same, universally-acknowledged list.

I don’t know. It’s interesting to me when advertisers miss the mark, and I always feel compelled to dissect it when it happens. After all, it’s the job of an advertiser to be smarter than the consumer, to anticipate attention and behavior. Here, it just makes them sound dumb, and that disappoints me enormously. If advertisers can afford to come across as sounding dumb, what does that say about the people they need to be smarter than?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to pondering what pigeons, robins and bluejays have in common. I’ve nearly cracked it.

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6 Responses

  • Adam Lore says:

    What do John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison all have in common?

  • Name says:

    It’s a quiz, you ignorant twat. Trivia is meant to be obscure. Bing Crosby started a pro golf tournament. Jimi Hendrix was left handed. Yanni fucked Linda Evans for nine years. What they all have in common is perfect pitch.

    And the ad works. Each of these musicians appeals to disparate age groups and backgrounds. All it takes is an interest in one for a viewer to click it. Further, the ad retains integrity by presenting the type of questions found in the quiz.

    Maybe I’ve missed the joke. Maybe your blog is satire, and you’re lampooning over analytical, pseudo-intellectual dweebs who still think it’s hip to reference Pynchon (hint: the 90s are over). If so, you type too much about too little…and you aren’t funny.

    • Philip says:

      I think you missed the third paragraph (barring the question itself)…my point was that the question needs to be phrased better, because there’s another far more obvious answer that precludes digging deeper. Still, thanks for the civil reply, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  • Dave says:

    Wait, they’re all fruits?

  • Jeff says:

    Jeez, “Name,” pop a couple of Midol and shut the fuck up already. Weaklings like you don’t deserve to live in a world with he-men like me.

    • hi says:

      hi i just wanted to say that “Jeff” posted such a horrible mixture of words that i had to immediately book a doctor’s appointment to make sure it didn’t give me cancer

      also i found this trying to find out what they have in common aside from musicians because it is obvious that isn’t the answer



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