Why Do I Want To Be Smug?

I work for a fast moving consumer goods company and, despite a rocky start, I’ve managed to build up a fantastic relationship with my friends in Marketing.

We still have some difficult times because some of them see what I do (there’s no point me telling you – no-one I tell has any idea what it is!) as an unnecessary inconvenience in getting a product to market.  The don’t realise that what I do is absolutely imperative and I don’t understand why it takes them a month to get me part of what I need when I could make all of it up to a fantastically high standard in a few hours.

The other bit I don’t really get is advertising.  I get the bit where you analyse data to see trends and work out how much to make, where to put it, how much to charge for it etc because that’s based on facts.  I can also analyse enough data to work that that fantastic offer being presented to me isn’t as great as it looks.

Advertising though…  It’s like this picture advertising pretty women’s undies.  Erm, women’s pretty undies.  Let’s just say lingerie.

What screams “buy this underwear” more than wearing it outside with a horse?  The horse is unnecessary, surely?  And most of the women I know complain about being cold outside if they’re only wearing a jumper in the middle of summer. Practical Me just thinks that this company has far too much marketing budget, but what do I know, right?

Despite getting thrown off kilter by a narcissistic individual 18 or so months ago, I back myself to be able to understand people and what they like and what they don’t.  It’s one of the few things I’m quite proud of and I’ve always thought that’s because I’m actually staggeringly normal (which doesn’t sound narcissistic at all!) so I have a relatively good base to judge an opinion spectrum.

This is why I don’t get advertising campaigns that make me not want to use that company or buy that company’s products.  For this purpose, let’s take car rental company Sixt and their “Drive Smug” campaign.

Here’s how the internet explains it.

Creative agency Grey London has unveiled the latest execution of its Drive Smug campaign for car rental firm Sixt. Three comic TV spots, which air on TV and online from March, introduce a series of brazenly smug characters delighted – often ostentatiously so – with the economy prices they have paid to rent premium cars.

Drive Smug captures that warm, self-satisfied glow you get when you’ve pulled off a little victory. It’s a feeling Sixt wants its customers to experience every time they rent one of their cars – because for the same price other firms will charge to rent you something ordinary, Sixt will rent you something extraordinary.

According to the agency it’s OK to feel smug sometimes.  I think that’s up for debate but the problem I have is that I hate the characters on the adverts! I’m not prone to violence (I mean, look at me!) and don’t wish ill on people, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed if the car tumbled over a precipice causing them to lose their deposit and no claim discount.  That, in turn, makes me not want to rent from Sixt.

If the agency had come out said, “Yeah, it’s rubbish, but you’re talking about it, aren’t you?” I would have reluctantly nodded, but they didn’t.

Sometimes I have to bow to people’s superior knowledge, but it can be so hard to do that when you just don’t get anything about their side of the argument and it just makes no sense.

Deep inside your soul there’s a hole you don’t wanna see
Every single day what you say makes no sense to me
Even though I try I can’t get my head around you

Somewhere in the night there’s a light in front of me
Heaven up above with a shove, abandons me
Even though I try I fall in the river of you
You’ve managed to bring me down too

All your faking (Get Up, Get Up, Get Up, Get Up)
Shows you’re aching (Get Up, Get Up, Get Up)

Every single day what you say makes no sense to me
Letting you inside, isn’t right, don’t mess with me
I never really know what’s really going on inside you
I can’t get my head around you

All your feeding (Get Up, Get Up, Get Up, Get Up)
Shows you’re bleeding (Get Up, Get Up, Get Up)

Deep inside your soul there’s a hole you don’t wanna see
Covering it up like a cut with the likes of me
You know I’ve really tried, I can’t do anymore about you

(Yeaaahh)
The cut’s getting deeper
(Yeaaahh)
The hill’s getting steeper
(Yeaaahh)
I guess I’ll never know what’s really going on inside you
I can’t get my head around you
I can’t get my head around you
I can’t get my head around you
I can’t get my head around you

Can’t Get My Head Around You by The Offspring

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