Really, Your College Degrees ARE Worth Dirt!
Monday, April 20th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

Sometimes advertisements send confounding messages. FAILBlog rocks with examples. Some are amazingly obvious and others send subtle messages. The other day, an ad informed me that my advanced degrees are worth little more than rodent infested dirt and piles of rocks.

So, the funny ones

Error messages in Windows are a great source of hilarity. Even if we ARE stupid users, we can still laugh how we managed to outwit software with our (apparently) completely unexpected interactions.

Gotta like those error conditions with a null (empty) description. At least some windows will report “Unknown Error Occurred” but I like this one better.

Make up your own caption: “You need help with what!?! Are you *that* clueless?” Or perhaps, “Yeah, we know there’s an error. I guess our error loop counter ran out and we can’t tell any more of you what the problem is. Sorry.”

I see the one below quite often. I think because I use filenames that are actually more descriptive than “Work1.doc.” Silly me.

Maybe they should get a recycle bin with a little bit wider mouth next time. Or, if it’d help, I can use a smaller font.

Okay fine, those are obvious and funny.

Graphic design subliminals

Graphic design can send less-than-obvious messages that unintentionally casts a product or concept in an unfavorable light.

In this picture, Bill Gates discusses Microsoft’s new Live Software (2005) with some slides that were just horribly created. How many things are wrong here?

Some of the more obvious blunders are the overwhelming amount of information on one slide - where do you look first? Second? Choice of background color is poor - neon green is hard to look at, and blue on the right makes all the text nearly impossible to read. [Presentation Zen Ref]

But the design of the slide corrupts the message itself. All of the wonderful things this new package offers - all the apps and features right at the user’s fingertips, facilitating and integrating Life the Universe and Everything.

Swirling, crowding, encapsulating and blocking users’ view of the outside world, trapped by their work tasks …

… together in one big lump being flushed down the toilet.

I can’t look at this slide without seeing the ripples of water collecting the users and all the apps together into a tight little ball in preparation for evacuation.


Don’t quite your day job!

Anyway, the reason I wrote this post is an advertisement I saw on Facebook the other day.

My first thought was, “Wow, my PhD is the lowest buried college degree of apparent worthlessness. After all, doesn’t PhD stand for Piled Higher and Deeper?

I guess the joke has become reality, heh heh.

So I explored this pic a little more. All the degrees are underground. Oddly-shaped little burrows like the homes rodents excavate, each connected to a few others with twisty little passages.

Each little den has a pile of rocks at the bottom. Rocks? What the heck does *that* stand for? That a degree gives one a more solid foundation for the future? Eh, could be.

Or maybe that’s really a pile of money, but I’d think the coins would be gold instead of silver. Or maybe the university advertised isn’t a top tier school. And if these piles of stuff really DO represent money (salary) then why is a PhD’s salary only slightly above that of an associate? (Oh, yeah, academia. Sad salaries to advance the state of technology, teach your children, and cure cancer. Sigh.)

So then I look up - (unable to catch a glimpse of the sky as I’m buried in course work and exams) the entrance to all these twisty tunnels that delve for the netherworld appears to spill from two bottles facing away from each other. Or, one funny-looking bottle broken in half? What the HECK does that imagery represent? Seriously? Any clue?

* shivers *

Anyway, this graphic just spins my poor little head.

Maybe the idea is to tempt you into confusion and consternation like it did me, and tease you into clicking on the graphic to figure out what the heck the advertisement is really all about.

That’s exactly what I did.

So maybe the advertisement worked after all.