Geeks, Mormons and Wireless Evangelists

I think I'm getting wireless internet. I know, it's been around, like, forever, but we haven't needed it. Let me clarify: I haven't needed it. I work from home and hog up the computer. Even when it's available, my cluttered office works against the peaceful setting Julie would appreciate. She and our kids want their own space with a used laptop she just got from an IT friend.

But I don't know much about wireless. This two-page ad I found in the magazine archives (2007?) suggests that I should be concerned. I guess I knew that already so I'll concentrate instead on the number of interesting cultural connections it makes:

1. STDs = "If you have wireless, you could be giving wireless to everyone."

2. Ribbon campaigns = "Wireless Awareness."
3. Mormons = "Agent Samuel J. has a serious talk with his customer about network protection and the dangers of spreading wireless all over town." (I get the danger part, but are they hinting that Mormons spread good news or bad news? Or is the news good but the spreading is bad, or is the news bad but the spreading is good? Mixed metaphors always throw me.)

4. Greasy black hair = Geek Squad Agents (Emphasis on geek.)

5. Irony related to #1 = "Go ahead. Use us."

Perhaps most interesting to me is that if you were culturally ignorant, none of these references would make sense, leaving the ad entirely void of persuasion. This is risky but it's also a reminder that consumers collaborate (regardless of willingness) with advertisers to make ads work.

Click on the images to enlarge them.


Doug July 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

Thanks for the post. I think this may be a classic case where the advertising agency is more into showing there creativity then actually getting the message across for their customer. There are some mixed messages...what if your customer is a Morman!

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