I just saw what may be the biggest waste of advertising money, ever. It was a 90 second TV ad for Uncharted 2.
The problem? Nearly half the commercial involved people talking… in a silent ad.
For those of you not familiar, I coined the term Silent Ads for variants of ads that cut out all speech, in favor of running just the music of the commercial. Making multiple variants of ads is a timeless tradition, but Silent Ads are a new (and very lame) variant of advertising, aimed at the lowest of intellects.
It is true, Silent Ads do work with dumb people. This is why ad agencies con companies into devoting part of their budgets to them. I’m being very scientific when I say dumb; advertisers classify audiences by intelligence. But, Silent Ads also have a downside, they dovetail and tick off people with high intellects. Those are the informed consumers that wind up saying/tweeting/blogging/sharing “hey, don’t buy that annoying crud.”
The bottom line, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Uncharted 2 underperform. You don’t win people over by running ads with 45 seconds of lips moving… and nothing but music on the audio track.