Broadview Parody Rekindles Industry’s Advertising Debate

I meant to post this a while ago but got tied up with a little thing called ISC West … more on that in an upcoming post. But this was too good to let slide by: a recent “Saturday Night Live” TV commercial parody skewering Broadview Security’s ads that have been running since last year as part of the former Brink’s Home Security’s rebranding efforts.

The bit satirizes how the spots, which depict a woman having her home broken into by a spurned boyfriend, tend to rely on fear tactics to get the point of urgency across for a home security system. For years now, this approach has been a source of controversy within the industry itself as some believe such portrayals are sensationalistic and exploitative, propagating the association of alarm systems with negative feelings among consumers.

I, myself, have written editorials about how focusing on the positive message of feeling safer and all the other things a security system can offer an end user today may be a more effective approach, and certainly one that establishes greater fondness for the industry among customers and prospects. The Broadview campaign, in particular, has stirred up a debate among the industry’s ranks with letters printed in SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION and many threads posted throughout the Internet. However, such tactics, as these commercials prove, continue to be a staple of our industry.

I have to admit it was a kick to see SNL lampoon the alarm industry because, let’s face it, what we all do mostly flies under the radar. Plus, it was funny! I love the slogan at the end: “Get It, Or Get Murdered.”

Several folks I spoke with at ISC West had seen it and it seemed to be universally appreciated. Of course, I did not get a chance to discuss it with any Broadview employees but I did with associates of their imminent new owner, ADT, and they took it all as good fun. What is shocking to me is the program gets away with using the actual name of the business. What ever happened to slightly modifying the name to skirt potential liability issues?

Here’s the commercial … let me know what you think of it and also where you stand on the type of messaging we use in our ad campaigns:

As always, thanks for reading …

Scott Goldfine

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