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Trivial but Illustrative
I took BART home from San Francisco this evening and across the car from me is an ad for a comcast (I think) feature that allows one to see all live ESPN broadcasts on a variety of media. The ad uses a picture of a SC (that's Southern California not South Carolina) QB about to pass the ball in the LA coliseum.

BART serves 4 San Francisco Bay Area counties with a commuter rail service. The target audience for this ad aimed at college football fans includes few SC fans. In fact that target audience mostly includes people who hate SC football. I do not think a single fan of a Pack 12 (I think that is the current number) school, not SC, would not list SC as the team they hate the most, even more so than their oldest and most bitter rival. I would suggest that even nation wide SC is one of those football schools (a term not used lightly) that many dislike if not outright hate.

None of this matters in the overall scheme of things but it points out to me that people can make egregious errors in their work and retain employment. The graphic designer who selected the picture should have known that this picture would not entice college football fans in most of the country and particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ad placer should have asked that a different picture be used specifically for an ad on a bay area transit system. Both these people, or peoples, I am sure retain employment. That which is often glaringly wrong escapes managers because they also do not know what they are doing.
Edited by JohnH on 11/17/2012 05:05
Well, for an ad you do not approve of, you typed 280 words.

I am no expert, but in terms of impact factor, I cant imagine there are many advertisements at the side of a rail network that get that much wordage after someone has seen it.

Product miss-placement is quite popular now, they take typical adverts, and alter something that is expected for that area, thus drawing more attention to it for the fault.

In films this plays out more, so instead of a can of Coke, they will have a cane of Cola, with an approximate design equal to the coke, you are more likely to notice it as an 'imposter', and possibly feel sympathetic towards Coke. Either way, you would pay more thought to the Coke product.
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