Listening to the radio a few hours ago, I was shocked to hear Vodafone’s latest advert for their buyback scheme: Yoda (of Star Wars fame) effectively suggests that not having the latest phone will lead to feelings of rejection and “jealousy” and, ultimately, a switch to “The Dark Side”.
Now, I’m no Star Wars expert, but nonetheless there is something slightly grating about the Star Wars’ version of Buddha (a) signed up as the face of an advertising campaign and (b) suggesting that, without getting our mitts on the latest mobile technology right now, we’re all going to turn into horrible people. Actually, I’d like to suggest the opposite: if one is inclined to believe that owning the newest clump of metal and microchips coughed up by Apple, Nokia or Samsung makes them a better person, they are clearly deluded, and need to get their priorities straight.
…implying that we should all feel insecure…
A mobile phone is something that is necessary to make calls on the go, to text our friends and family and, nowadays, to access the Internet anywhere and everywhere. These are all functions of practicality, and in this light there is not much difference between, say, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. It is therefore not only preposterous but also insulting for Vodafone to suggest that the addition of the letter S and a voice-activated command system is the key to our happiness.
Vodafone, like any other mobile network, is a company that relies on people buying their products in order to stay afloat. Advertising their products is certainly no crime; however implying that we should all feel insecure about not having the latest phone is a step too far. There’s a fine line between humour and insulting someone’s intelligence, and Vodafone have, in my opinion, rather tactlessly crossed it.
our boyfriend/girlfriend might mean the world to you…
The icing on the cake comes when Vodafone informs listeners that this is just one more thing that “can mean the world” to their customers. Now, your Mum might mean the world to you. Your boyfriend/girlfriend might mean the world to you. Goodness knows, even your cat might mean the world to you. But it’s a sad day when we all start believing that a machine should be added to this category.