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Why Harvey Norman is Australia's rudest advertiser


About John

Copywriter / advertising person, Perth. Curator of largely irrelevant data. Purveyor of unsorted thoughts. Poor surfer. Worse fisherman.


OPINION: hotelnepal member John Ilian gets stuck into Harvey Norman's "offensive" TV ads.

Twenty reasons to reject Harvey Norman's TV advertising campaign.

1. Reject Harvey Norman advertising because it is offensive.

2. Reject it because it is insulting.

3. Reject Harvey Norman advertising because it disrespects us. It dishonours its audience.

4. Reject it because it is rude.

5. Reject it because in shouting at us, it doesn’t speak to us. Or otherwise engage us.

6. Reject it because the voiceover is unintelligible when it yells at a million miles an hour.

7. If you would not buy anything from a sales person acting this way to your face, reject it.

Harvey Norman commercial



8. Ask yourself if owner Gerry Harvey would allow anyone to shout at him the way his advertisements shout at us. If you think he would not, reject his advertising.

9. Reject it because it is the epitome of poor manners. (Don’t we teach our children that respect is a core value?)

10. Reject it because this advertiser thinks we are not capable of discerning a price, an offer, or a bargain without being yelled at.

11. Reject it because 100 words in 30 seconds is 30 words too many.

12. Reject it because Harvey Norman doesn’t understand that it is not what they put into TV commercials that matters most. What viewers take from them matters more. (I take from them that Harvey Norman is Australia’s rudest advertiser).

13. Reject it because the world has moved on from the ‘yell and sell’ world of 1970. It is now media-savvy. Media studies have been part of the school curriculum for the past three decades. Plus, there’s the informative effect of social media.

14. Reject it because Harvey Norman fails to recognise that simple made memorable is infinitely more potent than crap made confusing.

15. Reject it because it nearly always contains a sleazy, slime-like disclaimer. This implies, “We don’t trust you. We don’t even trust ourselves. That’s why we have these ‘stay-out-of- jail’ disclaimers.”

16. Reject it because you’re unlikely to remember the specific conditions that were fleetingly exposed on the screen, or otherwise swallowed by the voice-over.

17. Reject it because it operates on falsehood built on a simple premise (presumably conceived by simpletons): ‘Throw enough shit at the fan and some of it will stick.”

18. Reject it because it is unnecessarily wasteful. How much would Harvey Norman save on media costs if its ads actually contained a simple, intelligent, potent idea that connected positively with its market and engaged more?

19. Reject it because it is likely to be hypocritical. It’s possible most, if not all of Harvey Norman’s advertising budget comes from supplier brands that know better. Generally, these brands avoid this appalling behaviour themselves.

20. Reject it because Harvey Norman advertising is visual and aural abuse.

Go, Harvey Norman. Go away!

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