Straight Talk from Al Jacobs
THE WORLD OF THE SLOGAN
During a visit to one of our major discount stores the other day, I spotted an impressive display of large American flags protruding from a box containing the caption “Cherish our country.” Down lower, in smaller print, I found “Made in Bangladesh.” This caused me wonder which country I was supposed to cherish.
I’ve since become more tuned in to messages directed at the public. As I think back, I recall Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a campaign rally, with a backdrop of signs proclaiming “Change we can believe in.” I guess something to believe in sounds good in the advertising business. On the matter of belief, my favorite is from that comic W. C. Fields, who declared: “A man must have something to believe in … I believe I’ll have another beer.”
I’m told nothing sells better than FREE. A full-page ad offers some worthless trinkets costing $29, plus shipping and handling. The bonus: a free offer of five 25¢ pieces. Worse yet: a free real estate seminar where you’ll be pressured to enroll in a “$2,950 weekend of “priceless instruction.” But best of all is the Pontiff’s free memorial prayer card containing a blessing … providing you purchase the papal Rosary at a price to be disclosed when you contact the National Direct Hotline.
We’re lost in a world of pointless slogans – the less sense they make, the better they seem to sell. Do you think the advertisers consider us to be dimwits? Could they be right?