When advertisers take a chance at being idiots

One of the lottery-like games here was given the terribly imaginative name “Chance” (as-is, no translation, the Hebrew name is the English word, assuming people would understand it. Which is a pretty fair assumption, since the word is indeed used a lot, and was practically absorbed into the used language. It’s common to hear people saying “Kakh chance”, with “Kakh” being roughly the word for “take a”).

And lately they’ve started with this terribly annoying series of radio commercials, with pretence cab drivers prattling on about how they are taking a chance to win money. Although I guess these commercial, as low-level and annoying as they seem, are at least effective in bringing the product to conciousness.

But one of them really got me annoyed at the sheer brainless idiotism behind it. And since the rest of them at least do manage to keep everything in context, I must assume that it wasn’t an attempt to purposefully make their cab driver appear idiotic, but instead genuine incompetent stupidity on the part of the text writer.

In this commercial the cab driver talks about how he picked up a passenger wanting to go someplace. The driver tells how he offered the passenger a flat predetermined rate, but the passenger insisted that he’d turn the meter on instead. And the driver tells how he told the passenger to “take a chance and” go with the suggested rate, to which the passenger refused. Then they naturally got into a traffic jam, so charging by the meter ended up costing the passenger more money. The story concludes by the cab driver once again saying that the passenger should have taken a chance.

Does anyone else notice the blatant incongruity here? Choosing a predetermined fare isn’t taking a chance, it’s the exact opposite. No matter what will happen the cost will remain the precisely known same. Choosing to go by the meter, however, would be taking a chance. If the ride goes smoothly it will be possible to save money, and if there are delays it could cost a lot more. It’s not only simple logic, but goes as to the very definition of what chance means.

That passenger did take a chance. And in that particular case it didn’t work out, and the passenger would have been better off had he not taken the chance. Having the cab driver claim that the passenger should have taken a chance is just… idiotic. It presents their cab driver, the star of the entire series of commercial, as someone without an inkling about whatever he’s talking about. Surely not the image a company would want a figure associated with them to present.

And it provides a very plain and clear example that taking a chance can cost money. Which is the exact opposite of the message of the entire commercial series, which trying to emphasize how much it’s possible to earn by taking a chance.

Next time when they spend a fortune on plenty of air time, they should avoid taking a chance, and go with advertisers who are actually capable of reading the text they’re writing…

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