Back in September, my girlfriend was online at the website of one of her favorite retailers, checking out candles and other foofy girl stuff, and there was something on the site that caught us both off guard. They were having a sale. This was not your average ordinary sale. They were having a 9/11 sale.
Now, I was not offended, as there are few things out there that will offend me. Even so, I had to wonder if this was a wise marketing campaign.
I guess it is not totally out of line, since after the attacks on September 11, our own president suggested that we go shopping, and basically not let the terrorists disrupt our American way of life, i.e. consumerism. It did make me wonder if this is the future of advertising, where we can exploit any tragedy as long as we offer substantial savings on merchandise?
But then my disbelief gave way to my wandering brain, which started to think about how if this did become a regular thing among retailers, just what the ads might look like. Basically, I ran with the Presidents Day sale motif, as it would be done by a local car salesman that produces and stars in his own ads, and just gave it a 9/11 twist.
DISCLAIMER (Yes the following is not exactly tasteful, so, if you go forward and get offended, you have no one to blame but yourself, and I will have no sympathy and probably make fun of your “outrage.” Seriously, you have been warned. Enjoy).
I picture a local car salesman dressed as a suicide bomber and yelling, “Death to high monthly payments.” Then there is a big fakey explosion, and as the dust settles there is a vehicle with very reasonable monthly payments painted on it’s windshield, and a voice over saying, “This beauty can be yours for a down payment of $911.”
Maybe they will use the slogans from 9/11 and say things like, “Lets roll… back prices,” or “Our savings are wanted dead or alive.”
Or maybe the salesman will be in a flight suit and do a bad George Bush impression, “The terrorists hate our free clock radio with every test drive,” while behind him is a banner that says, “Savings Accomplished.”
Maybe they could use actual video of the planes flying into the towers and have a voice over that says, “We couldn’t save everyone on 9/11, but we CAN save you… MONEY!” Then, as they the plane crashes into the building they superimpose a bunch of dollar bills to look like they are coming out of the explosion.
If they run with the idea of using actual 9/11 video with things superimposed, they could show a crowd, running from the dust cloud of the collapsing tower, with the words “High Prices” superimposed on the cloud, and a voice over that says, “Don’t let high prices catch you. Run, don’t walk, to our 9/11 sale.”
Obviously, the only way to end any of these commercial ideas is to say the following: “If you pay more, you support the terrorists.”
Yes, I know it is tacky and tasteless, but I’m not the one who had a 9/11 sale. I just followed the idea to it’s natural conclusion, and if you live in America, you know that none of it is that far fetched, and you can probably picture it all as clear as I could.
I have to admit, it cracked me up, but come on, after seven years, can’t we find some humor in this tragic event?
Yes it is very dark humor, but somehow, I doubt you can come up with a good 9/11 puppies and rainbows joke. And lets face it, being able to laugh at tragedy is a sign of healing, and it is also a very human thing to do, as it helps us to cope and move on. So be human or be offended… the choice is yours.
(By the way, if you were offended by any of this, then the terrorists have already won).