I just read a marketing-related announcement that probably wasn’t supposed to amuse me, but it did. And at the same time that I was smiling, I kept thinking, “Boy, advertising is just a wacky, wacky world.”

The announcement said that after ending its previous sponsorship arrangements with golf pro Tiger Woods, Accenture has replaced him with an elephant, frogs and fish. As noted in the BtoBonline report, “The new ads include TV, print, online and outdoor, and feature images of animals in playful, unusual situations. For example, one print ad shows an elephant surfing, with a headline that states, ‘Who says you can’t be quick and nimble?’”

 Losing a job?

The kicker is that the same report says the new ad campaign is estimated at between $40 and $50 million this year. I wonder if that’s more than the Geico gecko is getting? Are they using the same frogs that appeared in those funny Budweiser commercials a few years ago? Is the Eveready bunny worried about more competition? And what’s in store for my personal favorite, the Aflac duck? I hope he doesn't become passe.

To me, the wackiness is realizing that apparently what motivates people to buy has very little to do with the product or service itself — at least it sure looks that way, based on how goods are being pitched by ad agencies and the amount of money being spent to do it.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the commercials I cited above and I obviously remember and identify the companies involved quite readily, associating them with their furry, feathered or slimy mascots. Do I subconsciously pick Eveready batteries because I like the bunny? I don’t think so, but who knows?

It’s just a reminder to me how crazy things can get when trying to reach consumers, and a little frustrating to think that you can enumerate dozens of reasons why your product is of good value when maybe all you really need is a cute creature acting silly and accomplish the same end result. Seems like the American consumer is a strange animal, too, and it’s a constant challenge to figure out how to reach him.

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