Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dumb Slogan Dumb

As I may have mentioned now and then on my little blog, I work in the marketing field, so I have a more than passing interest in advertising, logos and the like.

So it is with that in mind that I look at this new ad slogan from the Quaker Oats company and say "What. The. Frak?"

"Go humans go?" I don't even know where to begin. What the heck does that even mean? Why does it say "humans?" If it's specifically mentioning our species by name, then surely it wasn't crafted by humans, was it? Did some of those sign language-speaking chimps commission this billboard? Did these suddenly sentient primates look around at what Man has accomplished over the millenia and decide to send us an opposable thumbs up? Seriously, I don't get it.

Or could it be that the off-center Quaker Oats Man is the one urging us on? I always thought he was, well, a Quaker. From Earth. You know, a member of the Religious Society of Friends. I guess I was wrong and he's from the planet Quaker. Maybe his race is looking for a new world to colonize and it's not a motivational slogan, but an order, as in "Go from this planet, vile humans, GO!" If so, then expect the first wave of the invasion fleet full of shock troops to land any day now.

Once again I have to mention that this slogan didn't write itself. There was no doubt an advertising agency involved, plus numerous copywriters and designers as well as countless executives from the Quaker Oats company. I wouldn't be surprised if 100 people were involved. I cannot believe that not even one of the people who worked on this project didn't look at this slogan and say, "Wow, that's... that's really awful. What the heck is that supposed to mean, anyway? How is this promoting our oatmeal?"


  1. ha ha! Th Quaker from Planet Quakar would make a good movie title.

  2. hahah! love your editorial comments bob! i bet there was more then a few who thought that the idea was stupid, but i am sure that the only opinion that mattered was the ONE in charge, and i am sure nobody wanted to speak up. it must happen all the time.

  3. Brad: Yes, unfortunately one person usually ends up deciding on the final concept, no matter how stupid it is.

    I've often thought that advertising & graphic design is probably the only profession where the customer dictates the work.

    An auto mechanic doesn't have customers telling him, "Yeah, your idea to replace the spark plugs is good and all, but I think I'd like to see you take out the carburetor and maybe replace the transmission fluid with honey. Oh and remove the tires. They're just not working."

    And yet advertising clients have no problem telling a designer how to his work, despite the fact that he has a degree and is a professional.


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