On the wrong track

Michael PhillipsAn Amtrak billboard (of all things) kind of jumped out and grabbed me by the eyeballs today. The slogan on the billboard reads:

Seats made for comfort,
not floatation.

No, I’m not kidding, that’s really what it said.

Now I’m no advertising genius, but I have to wonder who gave the thumbs-up to this concept. I can just imagine the meeting…

“Okay, we have to convince people that taking the train is better than flying. What have you got?”
“Well, planes are really uncomfortable, why don’t we push the comfort angle?”
“Yeah, our seats are like easy chairs compared to airplane seats!”
“Good, good. But there has to be a better angle. Give me something that will make them stop in their tracks and think about our trains!”
“Is that a pun? Should I be laughing?”
“Do I look like I’m joking? I’m waiting for a decent idea!”
“Okay, okay — what if we work safety into the pitch?”
“I’m listening.”
“Well, maybe come up with a tag line that reminds people that planes crash. Sometimes over large bodies of water!
“I love it! draw it up and have it to me by the end of the day!”

I see that the advertising agency that came up with the idea doesn’t even show it in their examples for the campaign. Did they have second thoughts? If they did, it looks like they came a little late.

Well, at least now I can say that I really have seen it all.

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