Sunday, March 23, 2003

Recently, my house received a friendly oversized postcard from our local real estate agent. Both sides of the card were filled with handy conversion tables for cooking: cups to ounces, how many crumbled vanilla wafers make a cup, the tablespooon equivalent of a jigger (jigger?), etc. One side was adorned with a picture of the softly smirking realtor in question, her phone number, and her office address. But a little something occupying the space below all this was what really caught my eye.

It goes without saying that the card was an advertisement, but an advertisement with an attempted personal touch. The truth of the whole matter was summed up by a single phrase, printed in white within a black box, in the lower right corner of the card. It said simply, I'm your neighbor...I want to be your Realtor. A nice, catchy, vaguely warm sentiment. A statement followed by this symbol:

Because nothing says "neighborly" like a registered trademark.

If ever you get sick of being advertised at, check out the "Spoof Ads" section under "Creative Resistance" at Adbusters. If nothing else, they get people thinking about consumerism. And thinking, while painful, is generally good to do from time to time.

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