Who are They Kidding?

Yesterday my small, inexpensive Samsung Laser printer started flashing lights at me in random order, and if it had come with a manual I might have been able to diagnose the problem, though it seemed clear that the heating element was no longer functioning since the paper was printed perfectly but would immediately smear if you touched any of the text or stacked it with another piece.

Considering the cost of the printer, I doubted that it would be worth having it repaired, so I did an internet search looking for the best printer for a Mac, and discovered that the very cheapest printers wouldn’t work with a Mac, which really didn’t come as much of a surprise since I’d discovered that previously with other companies. Even the Samsung I was using was no longer supported for the Mac and I had to go online to find a driver for the printer in a users forum.

By doing some online research I finally narrowed my printers down to a HP and a Brothers laser printer. The HP was $50 more than the brothers but seemed to get more favorable comments from buyers than the Brothers did. My decision was made when I got to Fry’s since they didn’t carry the Brothers printer. Surprisingly, the price was exactly the same price Apple offered, free shipping included. If I’d known that I would have saved myself a 45 minute drive and ordered it from Apple.

On the other hand, if I’d read the Hewlitt Packard ad that I found in my Sunday paper before I bought the printer, I would have bought anything but a HP printer. The ad read:

YOUR CHILD WANTS IT. AND YOU WANT TO BUY IT FOR THEM.
THE URGE TO BUY IS GOOD…
GIVE IN TO THE URGE.
DON’T THINK OF IT AS TECHNOLOGY. THINK OF IT AS A SYMBOL OF YOUR LOVE.

That is so wrong that at first I thought I must have read it incorrectly. Nope that’s what it said.

First, everyone knows that if you really loved your kids you’d only buy the BEST for them, and that would be an APPLE computer, not an HP running Windows Vista Home Premium.

Second, since only a fool would fall for the line “The Urge to Buy is Good,” you have to wonder who exactly their audience is.

Finally, do we really want advertisers tell our kids that if we really love them we’d buy them everything they want?

6 thoughts on “Who are They Kidding?

  1. “First, everyone knows that if you really loved your kids you’d only buy the BEST for them, and that would be an APPLE computer, not an HP running Windows Vista Home Premium”

    I’m tempted to comment about this. But I won’t. This is a religious topic, not a technology one. 🙂

  2. So much seems to be warped today, and this ad is a good example of attitudes gone wrong. What about potential employers who don’t tell applicants that they are not getting the job? How hard is it to say “I’m sorry, but we’ve decided to go with someone else,” rather than leave someone hanging? Sure, the rejected candidate could take it poorly, and that might be unpleasant to deal with, but have we all turned into sniveling self-serving cowards? Although, I suppose if we buy our children’s love HP-style it might be too much to expect us to treat anyone else like a human being.

  3. You did hear St. Jobs reply when asked why Apple didn’t compete with the low-end computers, right, harry.

    “But there’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship. And we just can’t do it. We can’t ship junk. There are thresholds we can’t cross because of who we are.”

  4. Loren- if you look closely at the ad, the background art is a vortex. I think the idea behind the ad is akin to the old “Outer Limits” show on telly. Subliminal messaging at it’s worst. Not that I am defending the ad. I agree that it is really an inappropriate message. But I think it is nothing more than some ad-man’s poor attempt at humor…

  5. The ad is an example of the collective “IQ” of our society. The only sad thing is that it is in the company of so many other, more compelling, examples.

What do you think?