Rolling My Eyes at “Smart Eyeglasses”

September 25, 2009

alisonBeing in the communications industry, any kind of marketing, advertising or public relations messaging that is unclear annoys me to no end. When I see something I don’t like or don’t understand, I obsess over it.

And with The University of Arizona’s confusing new billboard a block from my office, I now obsess at least three times a day (on the way to work, driving to lunch and on the way home from work).

The branding ad, less than 10 miles from rival ASU, simply says, “We invented smarter eyeglasses.”


UA BillboardWho is “we?”

When did this happen?

Why isn’t there a photo?

Why haven’t I ever heard of this before?

After seeing this billboard for the 100th time, I finally Googled my booty off during my lunch hour trying to figure out what it meant.

Now, some of you may argue that was the ad’s purpose – to entice me to learn more. But isn’t that counterproductive? And wasteful? And annoying?

Comment below – and I am looking forward to hearing from Wildcat alumni on this one!

And PS – it was folks at U of A AND the Georgia Institute of Technology who developed the glasses, not just U of A.


4 Responses to “Rolling My Eyes at “Smart Eyeglasses””

  1. There are actually a series of these billboards approaching Tucson on the I-10. The majority of them stress the strength of U of A’s science departments with quick statements about the breakthroughs and discoveries made in their labs.

  2. Yvette Roeder Says:

    If you can’t tell your audience exactly what you’re selling or what your message is, then you’re just wasting your time…I mean, that’s Marketing 101.

    I’ve seen these billboards and they leave me wondering, “HUH?” as I continue driving.

  3. That’s some really BAD advertising…how about something clever, like “focus on this” with a pair of glasses next to it. Also, they are missing an action step. What do they want us to DO when we know that UoF created smart eyeglasses. Hmm, maybe they need some help from the MBAs over at the Eller Center?

  4. Wendy Hafen Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I drove past this exact billboard yesterday, and while I’m all about being clever with your advertising, there’s a line were you risk losing your audience.

    As an ASU alum, I of course may have a bias against their ad campaigns, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say this particular concept was a bit of a waste of their ad dollars.

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