July 12, 2007

Talkquote: The value of advertising

Filed under: advertising, links, quotes — Simone @ 10:33 pm

The value of advertising is that it tells you the exact opposite of what
the advertiser actually thinks. For example:

  • If the advertisement says “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile,” the advertiser is desperately concerned that this Oldsmobile, like all other Oldsmobiles, appeals primarily to old farts like your father.
  • If Coke and Pepsi spend billions of dollars to convince you that there are significant differences between these two products, both companies realize that Pepsi and Coke are virtually identical.
  • If the advertisement strongly suggests that Nike shoes enable athletes to perform amazing feats, Nike wants you to disregard the fact that shoe brand is unrelated to athletic ability.
  • If Budweiser runs an elaborate advertising campaign stressing the critical importance of a beer’s “born-on” date, Budweiser knows this factor has virtually nothing to do with how good a beer tastes.

From: 25 things I have learned in 50 years (by Dave Barry)



  1. I’ld say that advertising is already going through enough troubles to add shallow arguments to the picture: saying that the value of advertising lies in telling the opposite of truth, is simply not true.
    The old school of advertising (I’m talking about many, many decades ago. Many) might have believed that if you say something loud and well enough, people end up believing it. And it was probably true back then.
    But that changed already a long time ago, and advertising has since generally used to announce an innovation or change a behaviour, but pretty much based on credible ground. Already some 40 years ago Bill Bernbach changed advertising for good, with his statement: “The magic is in the product” (And not in the bullshit you build around it)
    Stereotypes of advertising are good for stand-up comedy, but not quite for an insightful discussion on brands.
    By the way, as with anything else dumb advertisers can produce bad advertising based on bullshit. But we should blame the dumbs, and their parents for not going to the movies instead of getting it on, that night.

    Comment by EsseA — July 19, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  2. Of course this post is part serious and part stand-up comedy. Still, in my personal experience, I see this happening every day. Is this all coming from bad advertisers/marketers? Yep. But looks like there’s a big concentration of dumb people working on advertising/marketing.
    I think that the problem is that most people believes they can change people mindsets (or worldviews, to say it with Seth Godin’s words) with advertising. In the best case scenario, that’s damn expensive. In the worst case scenario, that’s damn expensive AND useless.
    They should instead leverage on people’s worldviews to give them relevant benefits (either via a commercial, the product/service or anything else).

    Comment by Simone — July 24, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  3. Miller Time Stratumseind Eindhoven

    According to the WSJ , a number of state Attorneys General have requested documents from Anheuser- Busch and Miller Brewing regarding their marketing of caffeinated alcoholic drinks. The states have had issues with the marketing of alcoholic beverages …

    Trackback by Miller Time Stratumseind Eindhoven — March 29, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: