Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deciphering advertising mumbo jumbo

Deciphering advertising mumbo jumbo
By Paul Greeley

I wish advertisements were more plainly written.
Instead, ads often resort to techno mumbo jumbo in the hopes of getting us to buy. Like the more technical information they can throw at us, the more confused we’ll become until we just give up and fork over the money. And sometimes the ad copy gets so complex, it’s hard to know what the product is.
Can you guess what this is selling: Split technology allows for stability and alignment while providing the best shock absorption. The latest Italian roadster? Or a new Mercedes sedan? Try men’s dress shoes.
Or this one: Developed to exceed all ISO and Ansi Z87-1 high impact test standards and exceed the 622 Ballistics test. Body armor, right, or some sort of bullet-proof vest? Try sunglasses. Good to know if someone goes to shoot you while you’re wearing these, you can yell, “Hey shoot me in the eyes, my sunglasses passed the 622 Ballistics test!”
Close your eyes and imagine what this is describing: Medium to full in body and strength with deep spicy undertones, rich complexity and balance from beginning to end. A fine California sauvignon perhaps? Or an exotic dish of some kind? Try a cigar. Yeah, that’s exactly what a woman would think when a guy fires up a big stogie.  Not gonna happen. More like, “Put that thing out, it stinks.” Or, ”You ain’t kissing me after smoking that!” And this cigar is supposedly so good, it advertises that it’s the result of a collaborative effort between a master blender, a master grower, a master of tobacco, and the cigar composer! A cigar composer? Really! What do you do, lead an orchestra using a cigar!
What do think this product does?  Complex of patented PHA bionics and NeoGlucosamine, Retinal, Peptides, alpha hydroxy acids, and high-potency antioxidants. Is it something you eat, smear on, inject, or the ingredients for a suppository? I’m not telling.
Some ads aimed at women vie to be politically correct. A deodorant promises prescription strength wetness protection. If a woman sweats that much, maybe a deodorant is the least of her problems.
Ads for watches really have to get creative since the time is not exactly a secret. We can all pretty much go through life knowing what time it is every minute of the day without needing a watch.  
One well-known watch company ad boasts its patented chronograph mechanism and bezel with tachometric scale allows race-car drivers to perfectly measure elapsed circuit time and calculate average speed.
Yeah, when was the last time you saw a Formula 1 driver use his watch to gauge his speed? When you’re going 200 miles per hour, the last thing you need to be doing is fiddling with your watch. At 200 miles per hour, I would imagine times moves pretty fast. And when was the last time you saw a race-car driver roaring around the track yell to another, “Hey man, what time you got?”
Another ad for the same watch company bragged that its diver's watch is capable of withstanding depths to 1000 feet.
Wow, it’s nice to know that at 1000 feet your watch will still be ticking, even if you won't be. But hey, at least as you're being crushed by the weight a 1000 feet of water can put on you, you’ll know what time it is.

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