Saturday, March 01, 2008

Advertising Simulations / Dramatizations

Am I the only one that thinks all these television advertisements featuring simulations and dramatizations (instead of REALITY) are a bit messed up? It really just tells me that the products being marketed do no really do what the maker claims.

Here's a prime example: teeth whitening strips. We've all seen the ads where some cute model puts these strips on their teeth and miraculously 7 days later their teeth could glow in the dark (with an *Asterisk beside the picture showing the "results" saying "simulated" or "dramatized", etc.). Or, how about laundry detergent where, after an hour, a very dirty garment comes out sparkling clean (once again, with a footnote stating how the results were simulated). Why?

This instantly turns me off, and will keep me from EVER buying the maker's product. Fact is, when you have these very short-term (anything a month or less) cause-effect type sales pitches, then if your product REALLY does what it claims, it would not be very much trouble to actually have your models show REAL before/after pictures (be it teeth whitening, laundry detergent, facial creams promising wrinkle removal, etc. etc.).

If ANY of these products really did what they claimed, wouldn't you (the manufacturer) absolutely want to show "proof" of that? Yes, of course you would. Which is exactly why I am convinced all these products (that can't replace their "simulations" with real time-lapse) are pure junk and a waste of money. If there is a teeth-whitening strip out there that works, I dare a manufacturer to recruit a series of people from the public, have them use their product for a week, and show real before/after pictures (without touchup, without OTHER laser-whitening, etc. being used). I'd take that as proof, and try the product. But, I can nearly guarantee I'll NEVER see such an ad.

I am so sick of marketing bull*#$@ in this country! Marketers and advertisers have become so bad that they can essentially run an advertisement saying "this product is absolutely free", and then subtext (in VERY small print) that, in fact, the product actually will cost you some very real money. It's insane. Why would anyone believe anything like this? It seems to work, but I think it all despicable. If you make a product, then you best be straight about what that product is, how much it costs, and how effective it is. No more of this subtexting, fake (oh, I mean "simulated" or "dramatized") visual proof, and other weasel-like ways of dodging the truth!

I can't help thinking that things will never change though, because people continually purchase products based on false promises and simulated results. Even after they purchase a product marketed under these conditions and are disappointed, they continue to still hope the next dramatized product outcome will be what they too experience. Until people demand something more forthright from companies, this will persist. So, here I sit watching the TV every day completely and utterly annoyed by 90+% of all advertisements (since, at least that percentage are pure junk!).

And, before I forget,... on a related topic: how about those ridiculous trademarked phrases in ads? One that recently just about made me scream was the Dannon Activia yogurt ad that has a "Clinically Proven" sign up in a corner of the screen, which if you look closely, you will see a little "TM" beside it. How in the heck do you get away with trademarking the phrase "clinically proven" for god sakes? I have a feeling if *I* wanted to do so, I'd be denied, but if I have a large enough budget, some good lawyers, and perhaps a lobbyist or two, such a thing would be easy these days. It's all just insane!

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