Ads Tap Into That 'Mad-as-Hell' Feeling

Companies use consumer rage to sell
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 26, 2008 5:14 AM CDT
A yellow Harley-Davidson bike reflects on a silver helmet in this file photo. The company assures us that %u201Cfreedom and wind outlast hard times.%u201D   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Advertisers are feeling our pain. So they're tapping into consumer rage over rising prices by saying "we understand," and using that to sell products and services. Take a Southwest ad that asks what the competitors have been smoking. "Apparently, your rolled-up $20s," it quips. A legion of ads has cropped in similar fashion to assure us that companies sympathize with our anger, the New York Times reports. A few examples:

  • Harley-Davidson proclaims that “freedom and wind outlast hard times.”
  • Jackson Hewitt shows taxpayers who didn't use its services angrily smashing things.
  • Eastman Kodak claims to "take a stand" against “pricey ink stinks” and companies that “treat people’s most precious images" as file formats.
(Read more advertising stories.)