Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Put Dearborn, Michigan on your Bucket List right now!

Yesterday I posted about an email ad, so today I'm taking on a small insert in a direct mail package. Basically, I'm leaving all the meaty stuff for Windier (I know he's looking forward to seeing his favorite all-time company, Burger King, introduce their "Little King" kids mascot.) I'm happy just making fun of cheap, small-time advertising. Anyway, check out this herculean bit of salesmanship by the Detroit-area museum attraction, The Henry Ford:

The one place you must visit in your lifetime.

Funny, because before I got this in the mail yesterday, I'd never heard of The Henry Ford. There are a lot of places I feel like I must visit in my lifetime. Washington DC, the Grand Canyon, Manhattan, Paris, The Great Barrier Reef, etc. etc. I'm a fan of museums, too, and there are a many that you need to check out while you're on Earth, like the Smithsonian, the Louvre, MoMA, the Prado, many, many others. The Henry Ford doesn't even make that list. I guess maybe if we were talking about must-see museums outside Detroit, then I'd put The Henry Ford on there.

"The one* place** you must visit in your lifetime***"

*Of many
**Museum/Outdoor attraction
***If spent entirely in Michigan

Here you will walk where legends have walked and come face to face with America's most treasured artifacts.

Ahh, Dearborn, Michigan. Site of Edison's laboratory. The place that Lincoln was shot in. Where Rosa Parks took a stand against Jim Crow laws in the South. . . Wait, you mean all those treasured artifacts were transported to Michigan?

It's more like "walk where legendary tourists have walked." Also, "America's most treasured artifacts?" Look, Rosa Parks' bus is an important artifact. So is George Washington's camp bed. But, "most treasured"? It's not like they have the Constitution and Betsy Ross' American flag hanging above Henry Ford's old mantle here

This is The Henry Ford. America's Greatest History Attraction.

Yeah, except... the Smithsonian? The American Museum of Natural History? The Capital building? Like, any one of hundreds of other history attractions that are more notable than The Henry Ford? Are we pretending those don't exist?

Might be telling that for just 89 smackeroos, you can get "admission for two at two attractions plus overnight accommodations." I mean, are you sleeping in Rosa Parks' bus for that price? What kind of accommodations are these?

"This is The Henry Ford. America's Most Affordable Transplanted History Attraction."


Windier E. Megatons said...

Of course, "packages and pricing vary by hotel." I'm guessing 89 bucks gets you the tickets plus a room at the 8 Mile Road Mobile Court.

Dana said...

awesome commercial from Thailand: http://www.geekologie.com/2008/07/best_light_bulb_commercial_eve.php

How you sell a lightbulb without mentioning it until the end (or using lightbulbs)

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Okay, I actually felt a little bad about this post when I reread it today. I just want to say that I am, in fact, a huge museum nerd. If I were in Detroit with a free afternoon, The Henry Ford is totally the kind of place I would go to. And since it's kind of a smaller-time place (not THAT small time, though), it probably didn't deserve the mockery.

That said, this is still a ridiculous ad. What I would suggest to The Henry Ford would be to tone it down. Like, way down. Maybe instead of using a lot of meaningless purple prose to describe the attraction ("This is the one place you must visit...") try actually telling me something interesting about your museum. Like the fact that you can tour a Ford factory, or watch an old-timey baseball game played by guys in old timey uniforms according to old timey rules. That's actually interesting, and a far more effective way to advertise yourself.

That is all.

Jacque Jones said...

Wow, talk about hyperbole! I agree, The Henry Ford is totally overselling themselves here. Also, people who are likely to even think about visiting this museum are probably huge car nerds, so I would think they would play that up more. I would love it if they had old-timey baseball! If they sold some kettlecorn at that baseball game, I'd be there.

Random thought: Do you think The Henry Ford purchased The Rosa Parks Bus to perhaps deflect attention away from The Henry Ford's well-known and virulent anti-Semitism? Like, "Oh, he was hip to the civil rights movement. Totally. The Henry Ford was all about equality. Let's just keep the tour moving, let's skip this boring World War II exhibit, nothing to see here, folks."