Does anyone else find the U.S. Cellular billboards to be creepy?
I'm referring to the ubiquitous (in Chicago, at least) billboards featuring a little girl peeping out of a carboard box, with the slogan, "Believe in something better."I do have a degree in advertising, but that's a lifetime of not being in the advertising industry ago, and I'm not writing this from the perspective of an advertising expert. I'm writing this from the perspective of a prospective customer who, instead of being attracted by the ads, is creeped out, confused, and irritated.
I can't really put my finger on why this image disturbs me. The little girl has messy hair, and she's hiding in a box. She might be there because she's having fun...but the expression on her face is more like, "I wonder if the scary man saw me crawl in here?"
And what's with the shanty-town box? Is she believing that someday she won't have to live in a box under the overpass with her drug-addict mom? I'm just sayin'.
I'm also confused by the emphasis on the word something. Why is that word emphasized, as opposed to the more logical choice, better? Even believe would make more sense. But when the design emphasizes the word "something," it sounds like a desperate plea for something, anything, to be better in this miserable world of pain. "Believe in something better," even if it's only a bigger cardboard box, or a better location under the el tracks, where the wind doesn't bite so much in the winter, and there's a little protection from the elements.
It just sounds kind of desperate, you know?
This ad irritates me, probably mostly because I'm peri-menopausal, and pretty much everything irritates me. But also because it doesn't say anything, and it does not even make any sense; and I do not want advertisers cluttering up my skyline with useless, meaningless slogans. "Believe in something better" begs the question: what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks am I supposed to believe in?
It sounds almost spiritual--but for crying out loud. We're talking about wireless service, people. Let's lose the pretentious, and get real, 'kay?
Maybe it's just me, but these ads suck.
What do you think?