Creative Advertising for Dummies

OK, I just want to preface this post by saying that I am not a dummy. I'm an educated woman--and I have over $70K in student loan debt to prove it (and will gladly accept donations in my never-ending quest to pay off that debt before I die--though that is far from likely to happen).

Anyhoots, point is, I'm not stupid. But I do have those moments where I just wanna kick myself in my highly educated ass.

Case in point: spent the day shopping in Fort Wayne on Saturday with the Hubs for our 29th anniversary weekend. And as we were driving around, I saw a gas station with gas prices that appeared to be over 20 cents cheaper per gallon than what they were back at home. Gas was $3.69 when I'd looked Friday evening at home. And the price on the sign at the FW gas station appeared to be $3.42 a gallon for Unleaded, and then $3.57 for the mid-grade.

(Notice that I've said 'appeared to be' twice now?)

So it seemed a good idea, since we had less than half a tank of gas, to just go ahead and fill up so we could save over 20 cents a gallon by doing so.

It appeared to be the logical thing to do.

So we stop at that gas station and as the Hubs starts to pump the gas, I run into the store to grab an overpriced beverage. And upon my return, the Hubs sees me and says, "you should read that sign again...carefully." And so I do, and then I see the problem. Can you see it?

Creative Advertising Gas Prices

See the problem there? The $3.42 price is NOT the price of regular unleaded by itself--no, it is the price if you also buy a Car Wash. Now seriously, that is some creative advertising. But...

Neenee Big Fat Lie Reaction Gif

Granted, the people of Fort Wayne are probably onto this gas station's tricks, so this kind of creative advertising isn't for the locals; it is for us dummies from out of town, who will drive by and happen to see that $3.42 price at the top and ASSume that is price of unleaded gas, and then be stupid enough to start pumping before we realize our mistake. And interestingly enough, there was another gas station right across the street from this one, with the same exact type of advertising tactic going on. But nowhere else in FW did we see this happening. So clearly, the one gas station did it, and then the guy across the street said, 'dammit, why didn't I think of that?!,' and decided he should start screwing the out-of-towners too!

Seriously? I mean, come on. You can screw with me in a lot of ways and I'll just let it go. But in this day and age, when filling up a gas tank costs about the same as going to the doctor, this kind of screw-the-consumer tactic is just beyond unacceptable. It is...

Unnecessary BS Reaction Gif

Consider me schooled though. I learned my lesson and will pay a lot closer attention to gas station price signs from this point forward. But as for you 'creative advertisers...'

Tom Cruise Judging Reaction Gif

Or maybe not so quietly.