There’s a famous saying, often attributed to American department-store pioneer John Wanamaker*, that half of what you spend on advertising is wasted—you just never know which half.
Well, here’s a lamentable, preventable example of a waste of 100 percent of a company’s ad budget.
New And Astonishingly Dumbfounding Advertising Mystery!
This bus-shelter ad is one of four in my neighborhood—four within a single one-mile stretch of not-very-grand Grand Avenue in Oakland, California. The advertiser is New York-based Naadam—or NAADAM, as it’s styled on the website. But the name has been given a strange makeover in this bus-shelter ad, where it looks like an acronym: N.A.A.D.A.M. The all-caps line under the initialized brand name reads “ᴅᴏɴ’ᴛ ᴅᴏ ᴄᴀsʜᴍᴇʀᴇ. ɪᴛ’s ᴀᴅᴅɪᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ”
As a couple of my puzzled Twitter followers asked, “Is ‘Cashmere’ a new street drug?”