It's All Advertising

I have an illness that makes it impossible to not find parallels between advertising and everything else. This blog is a way for me to express all the weird ways I look at ads and my random new ways of thinking about them. Sometimes it’ll be smart, sometimes it’ll be stupid, and maybe some time it will change your view on everything in the world. But let's be honest. It's all advertising.

Thursday, February 2

Not Absolute

I took a fiction writing class a while ago, and we were discussing what makes a good character in a story. Apparently, if you make a good guy, he should have a negative quality (a weakness) and if you make a bad guy, he should have a redeeming quality.

The reason is that we have a built-in distrust of absolutes. If we see something as all good, or all bad, we just don’t believe it is real. Therefore writers often add in these things to make the story more believable.

In advertising a lot of times we try and make our brand flawless. Our commercials show it saving the day, or being the perfect solution to a challenge. Maybe this is why nobody believes advertising. It doesn’t sound authentic because it’s too polished. Maybe our adds would pull better if we admitted a product fault.


At 2:28 AM, Blogger kbabs said...

In pharmaceutical advertising, you're require to put in fair balance, however its very forced and crammed into a little corner of your advertising space...I think sometimes we imagine that because we have the fair balance statement we can say whatever we want otherwise (well, as long as the FDA approves it).

I wonder if the more successfully marketed drugs weren't the ones whose messaging includes the possibility that they aren't perfect, where they are positioned as existing somewhere on a range of pros and cons.

I guess maybe I'm thinking of the Prevacid 'Tough' campaign...hmmm, not a great example. I guess the thing to avoid is the whole Vioxx 'let's pretend that there aren't any test results that might suggest that some people shouldn't take our medicine' thing.


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