Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Will Miss #424 - language school advertisements

Shane? He's a little on the quiet side, and he keeps a big knife under his pillow, but I'm sure he's really a stand-up guy. 

All advertising is misleading and an attempt to use your psychological tendencies against you. If you're an insider at a business or have a lot of experience with it, the ways in which ads attempt to manipulate potential customers is far more transparent. Language school ads always pique my interest and often tickle my fancy (no pervy conclusions, please) because I've worked in this game long enough to know what's what. For one thing, they always show professionally dressed, young, attractive foreign people who look fresh and happy. Real English teachers tend to look bedraggled from spending long hours attempting to draw a few bloody words from conversational stones. The men wear their ties askew and rarely wear suit jackets because most Japanese office ladies freeze at temperatures below boiling. The teachers in the ads never resemble the real workers and I know from experience that the "students" in most ads are the most attractive office workers the company can locate. If the school is particularly wealthy, they may be actual models, but they are never real students. Finally, there are the goofy English slogans that ads sometimes come up with in order to distinguish themselves or create a hook. It's always something that makes me feel a Japanese person came up with it and insisted that it fly despite the protestations of any foreigners who had input into the ad planning process (in the rare case of a foreigner having input).

I'll miss seeing ads for English schools, their silly slogans, and their fictitious presentation of the teachers and students.