eflow, the company that wants car drivers to buy (or rent?) their little device that simplifies the paying of the toll on the Westlink M50 toll bridge is currently advertising on the back of buses and I saw it on the back of an Aircoach.

The text of the advertisement says:

“Don’t be like 37,000 others. Avoid legal proceedings. And the possibility of ending up in court. Pay your M50 toll. Click eFlow.ie.”

What’s wrong with that ad!? Well, in Marketing there is a concept that is called “Social Proof” and it used a LOT, even more so in our Internet-enabled lives than ever before. Trip Advisor, the Amazon Reviews and Likes on Facebook are all Social Proof in action. We are influenced about what our peers think. If there are lots of good reviews of a restaurant or a product we trust it more and are more likely to buy. If there are lots of people liking something (on Facebook), then it must be good and I don’t want to miss out.

The eFlow ad goes completely against this marketing concept. If “Social Proof” works, then the result of the eFlow add will be that people think: “Ohh, I am not alone in NOT paying the toll. 37,000 others do that too. Then it must be an acceptable (or even “good”) thing.” Odd!!

An advertisement FAIL? I think so!