Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Most Commercials Aren't Aimed At Engineering Types

Here in the Boise area, there are these radio commercials for a central vacuum company that feature a kind of clueless dad (nowadays, what other type of dad is there in popular culture?) who is always wondering what he could do with his powerful central vac if he were to "reverse the polarity". (These things include launching things into the air, blowing out drain clogs, etc.)

Most people, when they hear that, are probably thinking something like "well, I guess the vacuum must be pretty powerful; maybe it'd be useful in my house to pick up dirt." Engineering types, though, don't react that way. We hear a commercial like the most recent one this company has out (where the dumb dad is going to "reverse the polarity" and attach it to his wife's SUV, so the air blowing out will push the car along and save gas) and we start thinking, "Wait, a vacuum pump is like any other centrifugal pump, it's built to work most efficiently in one direction. Why not just put it on the way it's designed and pull the van along by sucking air in?" We also think, "You're going to have a lot of losses in the alternator, converting gas to rotational motion of the engine to electricity. Combined with the inefficiency of the reversed vacuum motor, they're going to end up using more gas."

Bottom line, if companies want to advertise to engineering types, they need to get smarter ads. Or really attractive spokespeople -- those work too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fortunately for advertisers, engineering types are relatively rare. In fact, fortunately for advertisers, people with functioning brains are relatively rare. "Oh, look--those people are so happy about their toilet bowl cleaner that they're doing handstands! I'll rush right out and buy a case of it so I can do handstands, too!"

6/21/2007 5:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

....but it made you think...

6/21/2007 11:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

question #1 - who has DC in their house?

question #2 - how do you reverse the polarity of AC?

6/22/2007 6:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, make something explode. Blow up the vacuum cleaner. Make it interesting, and strike a blow for housework liberation.

6/22/2007 7:27 PM


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