CaptainPhilipRapalaIt took me a little while to find the message and humor in this one. I’m generally not the first to get the joke, probably dead last on this one though, since the fishing opener was last month.

As you know, we have enjoyed commenting on Rapala’s billboard ads each year, but when I first saw this one, I figured it must relate to some inside joke about a certain film I never saw.

How much do you like this Rapala Billboard ad?

I’ll ask a larger question too, how do marketing types go about predicting ad effectiveness when the embedded and intended humor is not immediately accessible to all potential consumers?

  • James Mahoney

    I’m a fan of the Rapala billboards, though I see them only through your postings here. That said, humor can be tricky, as various friends, relatives and co-workers regularly remind me in no uncertain terms.

    This headline probably made more sense during the creative process (and conclusion) than it does to the viewing public. It leaves me wondering if it might somehow relate to the name of this particular lure.

    Like you, the first thing I thought was that it referred to the movie, or more accurately, the captain himself–though his name is Phillips. When a headline has that kind of ambiguity, it takes the viewer some time to figure out. Unless the payoff (i.e., getting the joke) is really good, then the thing falls flatter than a flounder: “You mean you made me work that hard to figure out something that was only marginally funny to begin with?”

    As far as how we go about predicting the effectiveness of embedded or intended humor, see my statement in the first paragraph. ;-)

    PS: It’s *always* funny to the creators.