Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simplify Your Life - Really?

Today, I stopped at Citgo to get some gas. As I was patiently waiting for my very large, but empty, gas tank to fill I noticed a brochure that proudly stated, "Simplify your life. Sign up here."

The first thing I thought, was wow! Are they going to come out to my house to fill my tank ... because that really would simplify my life. Or maybe they were going to be like the old-fashioned gas stations I grew up with. A man in a Citgo hat and shirt would come skipping out to my car to clean my windshield and check my oil. That, too, would simplify my life.

But, alas, I discovered that Citgo had an entirely different kind of simplification in mind. They were offering me a Citgo Plus Credit Card!! Oh my, how privileged I felt! A credit card of my very own.


Now, I asked myself, just how would the Citgo Plus Credit Card simplify my life? So, I read on. Citgo proudly told me on the front of the brochure that I can have "pay-at-the-pump convenience" with this card. Huh? Are you telling me that my Best Buy Master Card or my Frontier Airlines Visa won't work? Just to check out that theory, I figured I better try it out. Guess what? It worked!

Citgo, let's have a little chat here. Your gas is good. Right now, I like it a whole lot more than I like BP's gas. But, I believe you need to go back to school to understand the basics of advertising. We all get why you want us to get your credit card ... you make money when we don't pay off the balance each month. But, what do we get out of this deal?

Talk to your consumers. Find out what they want. Develop creative that resonates with them.

My grade for Citgo on this marvelous brochure (which contains a slice-of-life shot of mom holding her young son, who is eagerly slurping down a gigantic sized sugary soft drink) is a solid "F."

Maybe this explains why I had to pry open the plastic holder that the brochure was in and then when I had the brochure in my hand, it was all yellow and crinkled. In fact, I must admit that the man pumping gas next to me had a perplexed look on his face as he watched me pull a brochure out as if to say - "Oh Lord, what is that woman doing?"

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