When I was a kid owning a wrist watch was a big thing and usually one got it as a gift to celebrate some form of achievement – largely academic. Today I forgot my wrist watch at home and through out the day I didn’t miss it. In the evening I realized that our house doesn’t have a wall clock or any other form of time piece. And the reason for that is that all the pieces around in our house show time. Our mobile phones have become personal time pieces, our microwave provides time for kitchen (and even dining room thanks to open kitchen), our home phone system for drawing room and bedrooms are fitted with iPod speakers that can show time. All our devices, gadgets, household goods show time. So this generation is growing up with time plastered all around them. Makes me wonder whether it will reduce demand for wrist watches and wall clocks.
These days I rarely read paper magazines (thanx to the Web & RSS Feeds) and as a result hardly get a chance to see advertising in it. On Thursday I was returning from Beijing, my notebook battery was dead, my iPhone battery was low and I had left my iPod at home. To add to all this it was a Dragon Air flight with no in-seat entertainment. So after a bit of dozing off & light meal I decided to flip through some magazines. As I was going through the September 29th issue of the Fortune magazine I came across an AIG Ad released in support of Students in Free Enterprise. I decided to tear off the Ad as it irritated the hell out of me. Here is what it said:
Headline: FOR STUDENTS TO SOAR, THEY NEED A GOOD FOUNDATION.
Bodycopy: AIG is proud to support Students In Free Enterprise. These next-generation business leaders go out and make a difference in their community while developing the skills to become socially responsible. As we help people achieve their financial goals, we are honoured to be associated with an organization that helps young people realize their dreams.
Brand Signoff: AIG – THE STRENGTH TO BE THERE.
I was shocked to see this ad as many things didn’t make any sense in light of what was happening at AIG over last 10 days. It really irritated me as the tall claims (Good Foundation, Difference in their Community, Socially Responsible, Achieve their Financial Goals, Realize their dreams, Strength to be there) looked like a joke on ordinary investors who put their faith in AIG.
All the financial institutes should get real otherwise one day we’ll say Lies, Damn Lies & Financial Advertising.