Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Acer in Pointless Promo Shock Horror

I was mildly amused at the kind gift of a small, flat stone from Acer Computer attached to my Gulf News this morning. I was mildly irritated that the package was glued to the front page headline and tore the page when I tried to remove it as carefully as I could, but we'll put that down to early morning biorhythms.

There were many newsworthy things in today's papers, including the fantastic and most welcome news that Wadi Warraya (or Wurraya or Waraya or any other way you want to spell it) is to be, belatedly, declared a protected zone. This great news was not in Emirates Today which, you may remember, did launch a concerted one day campaign 'Save the Wadi Fish' that was based around an interview with a conservationist working in Waraya. A big bag of bite size Snickers Crunchers says that ET does a piece taking the credit tomorrow. For now, GN can sit back and enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling that rewards those who get a decent scoop.

But it was Acer's stone that stayed with me. Disregarding the sage advice of French poet Alain Bosquet, I did not regard my stone so long, so long that it accepted to speak in my place. No, I looked for the invariable ad that explained the invitation attached to the stone: "Nature Shapes, Technology Creates. Individuality is yours alone to enjoy... find out more inside."

Any ad that accompanies such a slice of unremittingly daft and pointless pseudo-empowerment blather is, I thought, going to provide some mild entertainment value at least.

I finally found the ad, buried deeply in swathes of four-page spreads from real estate companies. If you take a minute to go through GN reading the headlines of the ads, you start to understand what Ken Kesey meant by recreating the acid experience without taking the drug:

Experience fine living...because attention to detail is not just a commitment, it's a way of life...; Once a year, the Cereus blooms in darkness; tycoon by day, connoisseur by night; Sea Side Living Starts Today; Your gateway to island living; Live and work in absolute grandeur; Your aspiration for a better tomorrow; Homes created around your lifestyle; Earth, sun, wind and water - the constituents of life, and the quintessence of being; not just another address in the making but a marvel with features extraordinaire...

It's a bewildering array of jumbled up words, sloganeering with no applied intelligence: declamatory, mindless blipverts of aspirational words slung at your psyche in a barrage of positivity and over-promising.

How, you may be starting to think, are our stone-wielding friends ever going to cut through? Answer: they're not. It took me three runs through the paper to find it. And I was looking for the daft thing. The ad was buried on the left hand page 20 and was made of the same old language as all the rest of it. 'Emotion, individuality and temptation at a glance' it starts. Hang on, this is a PC, isn't it? Just checking, thought it might be an apartment in Full Moon Bay. And then, for some strange reason, the next headline is 'Dolby surround sound speakers'! It's like being jerked from a page of Paulo Coelho to a supermarket flyer.

The other words in the ad are irrelevant, you can put them together in any order you like and they'll mean just as much. Print them, cut them out and try it.

Unrivalled | Empowered | Wonder | Style | Concept | Technological | Natural | Performance | Prestige

However, I now have a stone that I didn't have before and for this, like so many other small mercies, I am truly grateful.


Random Rambler said...

The moment I saw that stone I thought, Hmmmm this could either go really well or REALLY bad for Acer.

Reading through the paper, I completely skipped the ad first time around and no surprises why... it looks just like any other real estate ad!

Emotion, Individuality, Empowered... Hell, it's a friggin laptop! How about some specs??? Almost looks like a poster for Aliens with that earth glow in the corner.

Alexander said...

Specs? You got Dolby Noise Reduction - what more do you want? >;0)

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Alexander: I saw the stone, tore the front page to shreds, and chucked it straight in the bin. Reading your blog I now know what it was about. My life is not enriched!

Zeid Nasser said...

Hello Alex!

Would you like to publish a post on your blog about your cool interview on mediaME and link to it?

Nice photo by the way :)

Satti said...

Technology might not be so fascinating for you..but certainly is for some.

It is amazing, sensual, flattering and at times quite a emotional bit for many.

I might call it a love affair, though you might not understand with your remote and standard understanding of literature after years and years of your out dated approach.

What you wrote I can easily term it as "a slice of unremittingly daft and pointless pseudo-empowerment blather" or simply put was a childish gibberish and it simply did not give any amusement/ enrichment what so ever.

This is actually a sign to renew oneself. Do your self a favour and if it's not too much please do take a crash course/ short diplopa somewhere and let the understanding of today's fast moving/ developing styles of advertising sprinkle some fresh water on that barren road where you still trot.

Satti said...

though i do agree on the gemstone vs the stone thing...I don't know how did they think calling it gem~

....and i can't imagine them wandering on the beach collecting such stones...weired!!

Sriram said...

I still have that stone lying on my desk!

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