The Worst Underage Drinking Ad I’ve Ever Seen

Spotted this “Underage Drinking” ad on the CTA yesterday, on my way in to work. I had to stare at it a good while to make sure the whole thing wasn’t a joke. The longer I looked at it, the funnier it got.

Let’s break this down, shall we? The target audience is for parents of teens, urging the parents to talk with their teens about underage drinking. It starts off by chiding the parents to be responsible, and to send their teens a message.

I didn’t catch this at first, but the whole “send them a message” plays off the fact that the guy on the left is coming out of a mobile device. Which is weird, because it seems to imply that text-based conversation is tantamount to the real thing. That, or it’s just a fun play off the word “message” for no real reason at all.

But hey, let’s move on to my favorite part – the guy yelling out of a megaphone.

The caption here should really be: YELL AT YOUR TEEN. BECAUSE THIS TIME THEY WILL LISTEN.

Nothing about this image says “conversation” at all. The whole thing comes off as combative, and is exactly the kind of thing that would have had me tune out, when I was a teenager.

Oh, and if you actually happen to be swayed by this ad and decide to go to the website? You’re in for a treat. The page names follow the “Don’t Be Sorry” theme rather literally, so the Contact page is DontContactUs.htm and the Order Materials page is DontOrder.htm.

Also, peeking at the source shows the site was built using Microsoft FrontPage 5.0, an application whose last version was Version 11 (2003). Yikes.

Based on those dates, it’s possible that this site was created prior to 2000 (literally in the previous century).

Why go through the motions of creating an ad, only to have the website be something that was created an eon ago? The design of the ad is fine and all, but the concept just seems to be seriously lacking. It’s like someone just wanted the funding money, and ended up just phoning it in.

Excuse me, megaphoned it in.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I would like to see you do more CTA advertisement analysis. I think this could be a very successful series for your blog.

    Ben Reply

    • Glad you think that. But oh man, do I feel like a curmudgeon.

      avoision Reply

  2. “We’ve been offered ad space on the CTA!”
    “Sir, we haven’t done any marketing in 10 years.”
    “Well… just… put a smartphone in it!”

    Jane Reply

    • Seriously.

      My gut tells me the designer knew this was a bad concept, but shrugged and dealt with it the best he/she could.

      avoision Reply

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