One of my regrets in life is that I majored in marketing in college. See, I went to an old Jesuit school, and the kinds of subjects which intrigue me (and in which I do well) are religion and philosophy. My belief now is that, unless you're going to become a classic "professional" (like a doctor), taking vocational classes in higher education is ridiculous. I mean, Steve Jobs is one of the greatest marketers who ever lived. How do you think he would have done as a marketing student? Those who can't do, teach.
I still find the realm of advertising interesting, so the following little event made an impression on me. About a week ago, I got the latest issue of Futures Industry magazine. This usually goes straight into the recycling bin, but I flopped it over and immediately had a WTH moment. Before showing you this ad, I will point out the following:
- It is a full-page, 4-color ad on the back cover. This is the most expensive position in most magazines.
- It is from the Intercontinental Commodity Exchange (ICE), a company with basically an infinite amount of money to produce the finest marketing materials possible.
- The focus of the ad is not only a woman's head, but the back of a woman's head. This will be pertinent when you see the ad itself.
- The intent, clearly, was to show ICE with a stylized shape around it. The effect is terribly unfortunate.
So here, without further ado, is the advertisement, which I have thoughtfully scanned in for you.
Doesn't anybody look at this stuff before it's shipped off?