June 14, 2011

Among the testimonials in a direct-mail advertisement which, presumably, was intended to make me more inclined to read The Economist:

“‘I used to think.  Now, I just read The Economist.’”

(emphasis in original)

2 Responses to ““I HAVE NO WILL OF MY OWN… MY OWN… MY OWN… MY OWN…””

  1. Tevyeh Says:

    I’m no expert on marketing, but in recent years, as I understand, self-deprecating humor has become an increasingly effective approach to advertising. A possible explanation: in this digital age, a consumer can do a quick Google search and find a million consumer reviews for any product. Therefore, the traditional “our product is so great” approach to advertising has become less and less effective. These days, if you want to cultivate the image that you have a quality product, you have to…produce a quality product. There’s still a place for advertising, but it’s generally more important to *entertain* the viewer/reader than to actually try to convince consumers of anything.

    I still remember how hilarious I found Sprite’s “image is nothing” ad campaign back in the 1990’s. I particularly loved the ones in which a young athlete would expect Sprite to boost his performance, only to end up horribly embarrassed. “If you want to make it to the NBA…[a young basketball player/Sprite drinker fails a dunk attempt and falls on his butt]…practice. If you want a refreshing drink, try Sprite.”

  2. That campaign sounds hilarious!

    So maybe The Economist already meant it ironically, and I missed it? Whoops! I don’t remember that the other testimonials on the page seemed ironic, though—just this one.

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