Thursday, March 27, 2008

*How to kill an ad.

In a different era, an era without quite so much cynicism about marketing as the present one, in an era in which people used archaic terms like Mr. and Sir, having a disclaimer or an asterisk in your ad, or fifteen seconds of rapid-fire legal copy at the end of a radio or TV spot perhaps didn't raise that many hackles.

Today I saw an banner ad for GMC Full-Size SUVs saying something like they had the "best available fuel mileage in their class.*"

I think people see words like available, or phrases like "optional equipment shown," or asterisks and they say, "You are lying. I'm not listening and I'm not buying." Of course, I'm probably wrong. People still buy cigarettes though they admit to killing you. But they are addictive and therefore demand for them is inelastic.

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