Analysing a broadband ad

Uk_dp Virgin has a new ad for its 50Mb/s service, and it's all the buzz on the blogosphere, thanks in part to the fact that their ad agency apparently sollicited a number of bloggers directly to comment, including our very own James Enck. I suppose the idea is that no buzz is bad buzz, because to be honest, there isn't much good to say about it, IMO. See for yourselves:

But let's play the game for a minute.I'm going to assume that advertisers aren't stupid, and that more importantly they don't think that the public is stupid. So what are they trying to tell us. Two hypothesis:

  • 50 Meg (haha) is better than 1 Meg: well, to be honest, unlike Rudolf, I quite like When Harry Met Sally as far as romantic comedies go, and that's a great scene, which this spoof is not. The spoof wants to be clever but falls flat on its face. Conclusion: 50 Meg is not better than 1 Meg. Ouch.
  • There's a difference between a real Meg and a fake Meg: that would be a surprising degree of honesty from any broadband provider, but clearly if the Megs fake it, I can only conclude that the nominal 50 Meg that's advertised is fake. Ouch ouch.

On a slightly more serious note, it's interesting (and slightly disturbing) to me that no one in the broadband world seems to bother about advertising anything else but download speed, and more specifically no one ever gives you any idea of what the hell you might do with it. Broadband providers might want to take a leaf from the iPhone ad book. "There's an application for that too". Now that is clever advertising…