Len Klie

An Oldie but goody

Speech has been taking a lot of lumps as of late, with many companies advertising the anti-IVR, that is, the fact that you can get a live person rather than talking to an IVR when you call their customer service lines. Chase and esurance are the two top firms that come to mind, and we’ve even written extensively about their efforts in this area both here and in print. Well, recently, it was brought to my attention that this is not a new phenomenon. I was reminded of this television ad from Citibank from a few years ago. It’s hilarious, especially when the poor schlub tries to subtly utter his password. I know it’s about five years old, but I couldn’t help but post it again. The comedy is just too good, even if the message is against my better instincts as a speech-head.

One Response

  1. Kirsi O'Connor
    Kirsi O'Connor November 17, 2010 at 10:51 am |

    It is interesting to think about why interactive voice response systems are ridiculed so much in advertising. One reasons may certainly be that there are so many poorly designed IVRs out there. The technology has a lot of potential but may backfire if used incorrectly.

    It seems to me that many advertisers poke fun at yesteryear IVRs with robot voices and constant “sorry I didn’t understand”. In reality the technology has made quite a leap forward and it is quite amazing what a well-designed IVR can do these days.

    Another aspect that may explain these kinds of ads is their target audience. Generally speaking, young people tend to be more at ease with technology. Judging by the age of the actors used in many of the “IVR-bashing ads”, the target market is more mature adults.

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