Thursday, October 9, 2008

Truth in advertising

One thing that annoys me is advertising that is technically correct, but in a stupid sort of way. I guess the marketing must work. It sure feels like the people being targeted are real morons though, which is why I must find the advertising so aggravating. Even though I rag on the general public not being that bright, I do like to think people have some shred of intelligence. Call me an optimist.

So, what type of marketing am I thinking about? Well, I'll start with some food examples. We recently bought a jar of honey. The label on the front says it's fat free. Once when I was grocery shopping, I saw a sign in front of a display of grapes with the message: "Did you know that grapes are a naturally fat and cholesterol free?" You don't say? And don't get me started on "light" ice cream. The only reason it's light is because it's whipped up with air. You get less ice cream per serving because the servings are defined by volume (which is now half air instead of ice cream). As a non-food example, I was once shopping with my former housemates when we came across the household cleaners section. One of the cleaners was advertising its improved vinegar containing formula and boosted sanitation power. Good grief! Vinegar has been used as an economical cleaning solution for decades, and it's dirt cheap. I couldn't believe this cleaner was more expensive because they added some measly vinegar.

Marketing isn't inherently evil (ok, maybe that point is a little debatable), but does it really have to assume we're stupid?

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