Readers will be familiar with the age-old advertising wisdom that half of all advertising is wasted. The problem is knowing which half? That said, numerous advertisements these days increasingly seem to be a total waste of space, meaningless and having no relevance to the advertiser.

Take this example.

An expensive colour back cover advertisement on a recent New Zealand Herald supplement magazine was filled with a photo of a young woman, naturally clutching a cell-phone, sitting cross-legged before what appeared to be a bowl of popcorn.

In the top right-hand corner was the name of the mugs paying for this, namely Auckland’s oldest real estate agency, Barfoot and Thompson. Along the bottom were four spaced feel-good words; “People”, “Family”, “Diversity” and “Community”. The relevance of those words to a picture of a young woman with a bowl of popcorn, let alone a real estate agency, is a huge mystery.

What on earth was the point of this? If Barfoots want to give money away, as they’ve certainly done here, then there’s plenty of worthy charities who would like to hear from them.

Perhaps there’s a more cunning ploy behind this.

Possibly the agency is planning on expanding into the entertainment business. Having run this ludicrous advertisement, they will now announce a public meeting with a $20 entry fee in which the halfwit employee responsible for the advert is given a public flogging.

Alternatively, at a $40 entry fee, the same halfwit, pre-flogging, will explain (I can’t say explain his thinking behind the advert as plainly there was none) what drove him. That would certainly be entertaining and undoubtably a sell-out.


You have already achieved B and H’s objective by generating free publicity. The ad may be asinine but you response ensures greater name recognition.

Must be an attempt to make the agency appealing to female clients. It’s obviously pitched at emotion not logic.

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