I just want to be able buy something and know what I am buying. Does that make sense? If I go to the store to buy a chunk of ham to make my own Canadian bacon, I do not want come home and find that I bought tofu containing four percent of real ham. Disgusting. Have you had tofu? Tasteless, like lightly salted rice cakes. Leave that stuff for models.
Speaking of models, I don’t care if companies use hairless European Petri-dish-made humans to showcase pants. I’ll get em’ if I like em’. And I’ll probably get the pants too. But they also have to look good on me, which is mostly always. And the same goes with the pants. (Unless I ate a lot of bacon that day, then I don’t look good in anything.)
Advertisers are trying to do one thing. Sell. How do they do that? By showing us how miserable and pathetic we are without their product. Have you seen toothpaste commercials? I never knew how pointless and boring my life was without Crest. From what I have seen in their commercials, if you buy Crest, you buy a lifetime of happiness and laughter. I never though about laughing while I brush my teeth. But since I bought Crest, I laugh all the time. I am having the time of my life preventing my teeth from cavities!
The only obligation advertisers have is to NOT blatantly lie about the product. Don’t sell me bacon-flavored potato chips that prevent cavities when they are actually rice cakes that will ruin my teeth. Advertisers just need to be truthful in what they are saying. Don’t take a consequential approach in marketing. Do not lie to sell a product. Be truthfully creative in your selling process.
Here’s an idea: Show a close-up of a delicious juicy hunk of beefcake’s Crested washed teeth biting into a bacon flavored potato chip with his shirt off. This will get the endorphins going. Then hottie McHot pants turns to the camera and says, “Mmm, now that’s bringing home the bacon,” or something clever like that.
It’s fine to add sex, humor and obvious exaggeration to a product. It’s being creative and telling a story. Advertisers get people to think. That’s what advertising is supposed to do. Just don’t lie about the product. It’s unethical. It’s misleading. And most importantly, it breaks the trust and ruins the relationship between the business and its customers.
I do not think successful advertisers and businesses are breaking their obligation to be truthful to their audiences about the purpose of their product. Are they embellishing the reality of it? Yes. But are they lying about its purpose and creation? Well, the truth is, I really don’t know until I hear about it on the Google or from the conversations at my grandmother’s poker tournaments.