It's Dr. Seuss' Birthday today! To celebrate (and continue discussing “12 Deadly Communication Sins of Advertising
"), let's talk about how advertisers can sound a lot like Dr. Seuss wannabees! It happens when marketing begins to hype it up. Here's the excerpt from the article on hype:
"Error #2. Hype it Up
Today's consumer is very savvy! People can spot hype a mile away-unless it is their own! Too much glitz and glam can make your company, product or service sound too good to be true. Just as I began writing this article, I got a phone call from a salesman who told me that I had been chosen to win a free computer, $1000 shopping spree to some website I never heard of, a cell phone and a $500 something or other! lol I didn't listen that closely as I replied "Yeah, sure!". Nobody gets something for nothing and your customer's mind will not let go of the feeling that you are going to take them for everything they've got. So ...maybe you don't call your customers and offer them a free $1000 worth of your products, but have you ever sent out an ad that made outlandish sounding claims? "Make $2000 your very first month!" "You will never need another ...." While these claims may be true and certainly do catch your customer's attention, they do not lend credibility to your company and are dismissed immediately if not sooner."
Some ads try to use as many keywords as possible and end up sounding like a bad Dr. Seuss imitation:
"Eat your way to health. Weight loss you can believe in. Weight loss pills, skinny pills, lose weight while you eat. Why not lose weight the easy way? Weight loss, lose weight, pills take, but wait!"
Some ads aren't quite as blatantly Seussical...
"This free forex ap is a proven trading system. Nothing makes you rich like forex and nothing builds wealth like a good trading system. Prosperity can be yours if only you take hold of this success principle of building personal riches. Wealth building has never been easier with this forex trading wealth producing trading system that is used by the rich and famous. Money making strategies that really work and none of the risks associated with trading. Trade your way to wealth and prosperity in just minutes a day! "
Some ads even have a list of nonsensical words at the bottom of the email:
"Instant wealth, wealth and money, money and time, money making, strategies, trading, trades, money in your sleep, sleep while you earn, earn while you learn, learn while you turn, profits and no loss, trading forex, forex trading, eat of the fruit of the forex tree, on your mark, get set, be free!"
Notice the use of hype language making it appear that the outcome will be so incredibly easy it's just about guaranteed! Now in this ad, you see not only hype words, but give you inflated numbers and try to tell you how much he was cautioned not to offer something this good.
"My wife told me I was crazy to offer this to you, but I'm just such a nice guy! Most of my colleagues would sell this widget for $1500 but I just have to make this available to everyone who needs it. It'll save your marriage, save you money and bring you wealth so how could you resist. BUT I can only sell six of them at this low price! I'm not going to sell you this widget for $1500. Not even for $700 and not even for the extremely low price of $300, but I'm going to sell it to the first six people for the ridiculously low price of $37.97! "
At this point you don't even know what this widget really is or does and you have no clue who would value it at $1500 or why. If he wants to make it available to all, why limit it to six people?
Dr. Seuss' claim to fame was making fun sounding stories so that kids wanted to learn to read. These hype marketers use fun sounding concepts to attempt to make people want their system. However, Dr. Seuss was much more talented and his motives were much more noble.
Have you ever been sent an ad that is ripe with hype? How did that make you feel? Doesn't it make you suspect ANY ad you see that even remotely resembles a Seussical approach? What say you?
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