Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Appropriate Yet Obnoxious

I was meeting my brother for lunch the other today. He works in a skyscraper in downtown Chicago.

As I was in the elevator, I glanced at a smallish monitor on the wall. The monitor was displaying a mixture of weather, factoids and advertisements. The thing that stuck in my head was the name of the company providing this service:

Captivate Network

I thought, "Hmm, that corporate name is sort of cute, in a completely obnoxious way."

They're playing on the words "captive" and "captivate".

First the definitions of each word, per the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

________________________________
captive
Pronunciation:
\ˈkap-tiv\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle English, from Latin captivus, from captus, past participle of capere
Date:
14th century

1 a: taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war b (1): kept within bounds : confined (2): of or relating to captive animals <captive breeding>
2: held under control of another but having the appearance of independence; especially : owned or controlled by another concern and operated for its needs rather than for an open market <a captive mine>
3: being such involuntarily because of a situation that makes free choice or departure difficult <the airline passengers were a captive audience>
________________________________

captivate
Pronunciation:
\ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt\
Function:
transitive verb
Date:
circa 1555

1 archaic : seize, capture
2: to influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait and with an irresistible appeal
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The name of this corporate entity is essentially a wink at the fact that its advertisements are directed at people who cannot go anywhere, who are essentially trapped, imprisoned, immobilized in a small box with nothing to look at. Or maybe the content on their monitors really does have "irresistible appeal". But I'm not buying that.

From their website:
Day in and day out, Captivate gives you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to repeatedly reach your target audience during the business day. Our national network delivers more than 54.5 million monthly impressions to more than 2.5 million educated, motivated professionals in North America's largest markets.

Because we deliver your message to a captive audience in a focused, distraction-free environment, we have an average ad recall rate that exceeds that of most other media. We're memorable and measurable – and consistently generate strong, tangible results on behalf of our clients. When it comes to keeping your story top of mind with your target customer, Captivate takes your marketing efforts to new heights.


What's that? You say *you* want the Captivate Network experience? *You* want to be bombarded with some impressions?

Here you go!

7 comments:

Gifted Typist said...

hmmmmm, depressing, innit?

rider said...

Wasn't it Bill Hicks who encouraged folks in marketing to kill themselves? This is a prime example of why. Nice research into all this, man.

GFS3 said...

If it wasn't for this wonderful company then what would we do in elevators?

Think?

That would be too dangerous. Better to catch up on baseball scores and the weather.

Nepharia said...

Actually, I saw something similar when I was in the bank drive thru line as well. Net time I go, I'll see who it's by.

Johnny Yen said...

I was getting gasoline at a Shell station last night and was assaulted by television advertising on top of the gas pump. My wife, who actually puts together recruitment advertising packages that include these things, tells me that they're called "pump toppers." How clever.

Falwless said...

Pretty soon they'll just strap a monitor to your head when you leave the birth canal. Heaven forbid someone actually get a few uninterrupted moments of peace and quiet in their day.

dguzman said...

can't. look. away. trapped. here.