Thursday, August 20, 2009

The dumbness that is we.


I have been ruminating lately about the word "we" and its pernicious use in marketing communications when all of a sudden I came across this sign this morning as I walked to the train on my way to work.

"See for yourself why we love our new jeans."

My word, what blatant and unmitigated dumbosity. I know why you love your new jeans, or say you do. You want me to buy them. Do I expect--does anyone in this cynical era expect a marketer to say, "See for yourself why our new jeans will make your ass look as large as a barn door."

We is a pronoun that has to be earned to be used. "We're Con Edison working for you," is bs, not believable because people don't believe Con Edison is working for anything other than triple-double overtime. However, if ESPN says "We love sports," (they wouldn't because it blows) you might give them their we. But thoughts like "We understand," "We're ________ too," strain credulity.

Most people, even the cretins who respond to Shamwoo advertising, understand that most marketing exists to separate you from your money. Nothing inherently good or evil in that. Just that as someone involved in advertising it doesn't make sense to pretend that your client doesn't have their own interests at stake and is doing something for you.

"We want to make your stay as comfortable as we can." Oh, blow it out your arse. You want my money and hope I don't steal all the shampoo in the room so you can use it over again.

Gotta go. My new Gap jeans are riding up.

3 comments:

Teenie said...

Just a few weeks ago, we got a brief from our sister agency where, under "Main Objective", they wrote "We understand your business."

It kinda went downhill from there.

geo said...

"We love to fly and it shows."

I remember once flying US Air with my ex-partner. As we were leaving the plane there was an announcement that included US Air's tagline:

"US Air begins with You." And my partner yelled out, a bit too loudly, "And ends with R."

In short, people know bullshit. They aren't as dumb as they vote.

jeaves said...

What I find even more offensive are company websites or collateral that talks about the "we" and uses stock images of hip employees in non realistic office settings.

On a side note, I think the Queen of England uses the word we when speaking about herself. "We are not amused." Teenie might know.