The Rogers ad to the left suggests that, at home, many things await, including various television and web services for your entertainment; unfortunately, it also suggests a neglected child might also await.
The earnest look on the young girl’s face draws you in for the hook: “Suddenly, going out seems so overrated.” Not only that, it suggests that you are not fully aware of what’s going on at home. “Find out what’s waiting for you at home,”it advises.
Presumably the target audience is parents. These parents have a guilty conscience possibly because they’ve left their child with a babysitter, without considering the consequences of, or alternatives to that choice.
If, as that parent, you weren’t already feeling guilty, when you consider that your child might be left by her babysitter to watch television by herself, you might regret going out to enjoy some personal time with friends. After all, your child could be exposed to explicit programming in your absence, and assuming that you don’t condone that approach to child-rearing, that’s a discomforting thought.
Suggesting that parents stay home to watch television and not go out to enjoy themselves suggests a limited view of parenting, but it might also be an attempt to play on parental guilt.
On top of that, it erroneously assumes that people go out merely because there’s nothing entertaining at home, or that if they go out, then they haven’t carefully considered the impact of their decision, which might put their children at risk.
Alternatively, the person laying on the couch might be the child’s parent. In that case, the parent is willfully ignoring the child and letting the television entertain her. So is Rogers suggesting that it’s better to buy cable than to actually get out of the house? Or that maybe it’s best to ignore your child rather than pay someone else to ignore her?
Knowing that one should carefully supervise children’s media consumption to prevent exposure to inappropriate material, the picture of an inattentive person in the background of this ad is disturbing, particularly coming from a successful communications giant like Rogers, that should have a higher standard for its advertising material.
This confusing ad could benefit from revision. Though attention grabbing, its mixed and socially irresponsible messaging is a turn-off, making it capable of alienating customers rather than winning them over, and wasting advertising dollars rather than appropriately conveying Rogers’ main messages.