15 February 2010

Ineffective advertising

At a time when the population is getting smaller and the average age is rising steadily, it’s nice to know that the provincial government’s immigration office is hard at work trying to attract people to come to the province to live and work.


This ad turned up in a one-page flyer delivered free of charge to coffee shops and  fast food places.  It’s full of trivia, horoscopes and the like bordered by business-card size ads for local companies looking to advertise their wares.

Yes, you guessed it, this one is distributed in the metro St. John’s area.

And, only the metro St. John’s area.

Now odds are that an engineer  - for example - currently living and working in Mumbai who might be interested in adding his or her expertise to the province’s oil and gas industry isn’t likely to happen on the Topsail Road KFC whence came this example of the province’s immigration advertising cash at work.

Your humble e-scribbler is going out on a limb here to offer the view that this particular ad is unlikely to reach pretty well the entire target market for the immigration program.

It is a complete, total and utter waste of precious tax dollars.

So why – pray tell us – would some marketing genius with the provincial government drop the money to place this particular ad in a local lunch-counter flyer?

The answer certainly has nothing to do with boosting immigration.

Now if the ad were one aimed to raise awareness of the other Great Solution to the population crisis  - taxpayer’s cash for getting knocked up – there is a much better chance the ad might be read by someone interested in taking advantage of the bucks for breeding.

But it isn’t.

This one is aimed at people who might be thinking of leaving their home  - in Newfoundland and Labrador - and going to live and work  in -- you guessed it – Newfoundland and Labrador.

We may only hope and pray that other government advertising is placed with considerably more care and insight.

But in the meantime, how much public cash has already been poured into this kind of ineffective advertising?