HomeLifeWhy bad advertising leaves me confused and angry

Why bad advertising leaves me confused and angry

Do you occasionally think the world has gone mad?

While I waited for an appointment at a shopping centre, my eye was caught by a sign for a shoe company. A running, walking shoe company. No big deal, I thought, initially, being so used to the level of advertising that we are all bombarded with daily. But this one caught me by surprise and I had to read it a few times, confounded by both the level of stupidity and the audacity of the ad.

It stated: No bending over. No touching shoes. No Kidding.

Now, obviously the statements were aimed at a new slip-on runner, since the large words were accompanied by a foot seemingly effortlessly slipping into a laceless running shoe. But what the f***!

No Bending Over. What is wrong with having to bend over and put on your shoes? In a land that now rates high in overweight and obese adults, surely encouraging us to bend and move would be a godsend. 

If the shoe fits

Have we become so lazy that the mere effort to bend is seen as detrimental and to be avoided at all costs? Or are we so obsessed with speed and the need to quickly put our shoes on, so we can race out and do the next half marathon? I don’t think so.

No Touching Shoes. This next part troubled me too. Do we fear touching our shoes as if they are dirty and contaminated, objects to be shunned as untouchables. 

Now maybe some of our shoes could do with a good clean and I do admire the Japanese who insist on leaving shoes at the front door to keep the house clean, but not all shoes are going to instantly give us bacteria-laden hands.

Gastro is not going to jump from the soles of our shoes and make us sick. Haven’t we also learnt a few lessons from COVID, such as regularly washing our hands regardless of what they have touched?

I kept picturing a shoe raising its tongue and deliberately, maliciously infecting its owner. It would shout, ‘Here, you have trod me into the ground so now I will make you sick!’ 

Revenge of the inanimate objects indeed. A horror story in the making.

No Kidding. This last line, of course, was to appeal to the reader’s sensibilities and to get them onside as if they agreed with the first two statements. The reader, I assume, was meant to be amazed and thankful for this revelatory invention as if we had never slipped on slippers before.

Let’s get snappy

I was dumbfounded.

However, I did note the good use of repetition and the short, sharp snappy lines, one after the other.

It made me wonder how much the company had paid to some top-class advertising agency for this absurd piece of promotion. It was surely more than my salary as a secondary teacher.

Did I just have too much time to read and reread this ad? Probably. Did it help me pass the time while I waited. Yes. Do I think the advertising world has gone mad? Absolutely.

So good luck with buying those new runners! Hopefully they will help you move.

Does advertising leave you as bewildered as Dianne? What are some of the worst offenders you’ve recently seen? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Also read: Are us baby boomers to blame for everything?


  1. Disappointed to read your comments especially your first point. It does not appear that you live with chronic back pain! This type of shoes have been a bonus for many people with ongoing back problems/pain. As they have become more popular (just advertising- I don’t think so) their range has grown. There is definitely a market and should not be written off as laziness. I do take your point about the rest of the advertising is a bit crass but the idea of stylish practical shoes that can be slipped on and off easily is a godsend for many people.

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