All about the ad

Ever been suckered into shelling out for a movie by a cynically produced trailer? David Smith has and wonders if some toy advertising is now going the same way.
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Have you ever sat through a film and slowly realised that every funny line was in the trailer?

It is a huge disappointment; because what had looked like a laugh-a-minute romp has proven to be a barren wasteland, where the few jokes are so thinly spread you start to wonder if the film is actually a comedy after all.
As well as the disappointment, there’s a touch of resentment.

You’ve been had.

Interested only in selling tickets, the movie studio has cynically produced a trailer aimed solely at getting you through the door of the cinema.

You’ve fallen for their cold-hearted marketing ploy and the £10 or so you’ve paid for a ticket is £10 that you will never see again.

I’ve seen lots of toys lately that seem to be following this same pattern. They look great in adverts, only to seriously disappoint when actually played with.

One toy in particular (which shall remain nameless) seems to have been created with the intention of making an eye-catching advert.

In our tests, kids have been wide-eyed with excitement when they first see the toy, only for their wonder to evaporate in less than a minute when they realise just how little it actually does.

It looked great when you only had to pay attention for 20 seconds – any longer than that and there just weren’t any more features to draw upon.

Parents witnessing this phenomenon almost universally said the same thing: ‘Thank god we didn’t buy that’.

Toys need to sell in order for toy firms to prosper. That’s obvious, and adverts undoubtedly play a huge part in generating sales. At what point, however, is this reduced to a cynical marketing ploy? Is it stretching things too far to wonder if the company in question had realised that the toy wasn’t able to hold a child’s attention for more than a minute but decided to press ahead anyway?

Surely product testing had been done, and the results can’t have been much different to the ones we witnessed?

Maybe some sales can be generated for a dud toy, but that can’t do anything for the long-term value of the company name.

What did many of the parents we consulted in the case of this toy do after seeing their child toddle off to look for something else to play with?

They had a quick look at the box to see who had made it.


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