Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Get Real

The gear shift is pushed higher. The throttle is pressed hard. The car leaps and zips along a beautiful highway. The car swerves dramatically a full 360 degree. The car screeches to a halt. Steve McQueen steps out of the car. 

This car.

BTW, I was kidding. About Steve McQueen.

Seriously, if ever there was a lemon it is the car above. No amount of dramatic television spots will move this beyond a taxi-wallah’s favorite. 

I have not singled out this brand for special treatment. This malaise of ‘stupid’ hyperbole cuts across brands and the evidence is there for all to see, on television and online. I must also admit that I have been part of such work. I must also admit that in all the instances, the client was told of the ‘stupidity’ of such an approach. But then, we were clobbered with logic, stats and the ultimate crutch of marketers, research. We had to quietly relent.

Call it mid-life crisis or burn-out or whatever, I am increasingly finding it difficult to be part of such an exercise. It is to my mind a case of 'good money behind bad money'. 

Is there a way to call the crap on this kind of marketing and advertising? 

Why don't marketers and agencies realize that there is merit in being honest and real? The creative possibilities are far more interesting with such an approach. The believability and empathy is also likely to be more. I am not saying no to hyperbole. But hyperbole for a product/service that is at best a ‘turkey’ should be avoided.

I recently read a charming post by an UX expert that beautifully captured this thought. Here are some gems from the post.

“Our best chance for establishing trust with our users is to be honest. After all, trust inspires confidence. And it’s confidence—not just a knowledge of differences—that compels decision-making.

Perhaps we should stop fixating on what makes us different and, instead, acknowledge the real aspects of who we are, what we do, and why people choose us.

We often overlook our own assets because they’re real. Real things aren’t flashy, polished, or perfect. That’s often what makes them an asset in the first place.”

Finally, there can be no better validation of this approach than from The Master. Recognize this?


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