I'm not a marketing person, by any means. But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel the need to tell marketing how they're doing.
Obviously, marketing and ads are interested in selling a product. They have a specific audience that they are targeting and usually something about their product that makes it preferable over other competitors' products. I can understand this rationale.
Let's pretend we are a hospital (come on, America, we all know hospitals are businesses too), trying to get more people to try out out helpful and valuable services. I can just see their thought process.
Adman1: What is usually a person's first contact with a hospital?
Adman2: The emergency room
Adman1: Ahhhh... well, then let's sell the ER. What is the worst part about emergency rooms?
Adman2: The wait times.
Adman1: Aha! We'll sell our short wait times! And post it on a billboard for cars to see!
See? Logical sequence. I value that. Except that the outcome is horribly flawed. Why?
(2) When you're really in a hurry, enough of an emergency for a trip to the ER, are you really going to stop and think, "Oh wait, the ER 40 minutes from my house has a five minute less wait time than the one just down the road." Probably not - you're just going to the one closest to where you are.
The weirdest thing about this phenomenon though is that now all the hospitals are doing it. Another case of failed logic.
Adman1: Well, XYZ hospital started posting it on a billboard and it looks pretty awesome with that changing display like that.
Adman2: You're right. Flashing lights! Our ABC hospital NEEDS a changing display billboard too.
My suggestion: Please, tell us about your excellent medical care. Please, tell us about your excellent facilities. You can even tell us about your specialties - I would remember something like, "Oh yeah, XYZ focuses on cancer research." and store it away for future hospital visits.
Adman1: Our product isn't selling enough.
Adman2: Well, what do you suggest?
Adman1: We need to figure out how this product benefits its consumers.
Adman2: It's really important for their futures.
Adman1: Great! Print it up, put it out! "Choose X product for your future!"
When I was applying to graduate school, I had to take the GRE. It wasn't a "Um...well, this would look really good on an application." Instead, it was, "Report your GRE scores by this date." Hence, if the GRE actually wants to increase their customers, shouldn't they be advertising graduate school and know that the rest would follow?
It would almost be like, "The Virginia Bar for your future! Register now!" while missing the obvious point that people who are taking the Virginia Bar should have graduated from a law school.
Another point, this ad was at an <cough> Kdrama website. That might be a good assumption - Koreans are interested in going to graduate school. However, wouldn't it be more effective on a website about "How to successfully apply to graduate school" at least?
My suggestion: Using appropriate potential customer targeting, post dates and deadlines for the test (as well as graduate school applications) and nearby testing locations. That would be more effective at helping potential customers use and sign up for your product.
I don't even speak Korean or drink tea and I'm sold. (Actually, this entire series is hilarious. But it all starts with this one)