Exaggeration is pretty standard in Marketing. “Puffery” it’s called.. Of course you are going to say your product is the best. Even regulatory agencies say that a certain amount of Puffery is perfectly acceptable.
But with so many products and so many messages all screaming for our attention, it seems that Puffery is getting a bit crazy.
This week, I’ve seen internet ads and marketing emails that may be just a tad inflated:
Even though I am only a few months away from retirement, I still open the emails that promise me great jobs. Just curiosity and habit, I guess. And I received one the other day offering me “Terrific Controller Jobs in Your Region.” And among the terrific jobs listed was this Controller position: Receptionist for an Electrical Contractor.
And most of the emails I receive guarantee I will Fall In Love… with makeup, clothes, bus trips, chocolate (well, chocolate is very lovable, so that one isn’t Puffery). Today an email promised me rompers and jumpsuits that I will absolutely love. Well, I haven’t got the coordination to use the ladies’ room in a jumpsuit. And there’s just something about a 63-year-old in a romper that makes me think, “maybe not.”
Classmates.com tries very hard to flatter me. “Jeepers, Your profile is getting attention!” they said yesterday. Well, I jumped right over there to see my multitude of admirers. My page had gotten ONE visit.
And marketers are trying to help me take advantage of unique opportunities. “Perfect Weather for Free Shipping!” Well, free shipping is very nice, but I’m not sure what weather has to do with it, or whether they can guarantee weather that’s perfect.
If they can’t entice me with bribes (20% off, buy one get one half off – keep trying guys – how about 40% AND perfect weather?), they sometimes resort to threats. “Last Chance to Subscribe!!” Um, really? If I decide to subscribe next week, you’d say no?
And then there’s the hyperbole just to get you to click on the article. There is so much to read on the internet – they really have to grab you and lure you to come on over.
Today I saw this one:
“This Simple Trick For Butternut Squash Will Change Your Life”
Now I like butternut squash as much as the next person. So there may actually be a few scenarios where a butternut squash could change my life.
– I could cut one open and find a four carat diamond.
– I could trip over one and break my hip.
– I could add some arsenic and take care of some of my less desirable relatives.
– I could find one that would multiply like a biblical miracle and I’d never have to cook again.
– I could plant the seeds and get a Jack-in-the-Squashstalk vine, and I could climb it and steal the Giant’s chest of gold, or his favorite pig or whatever it was.
– Or –
– It could be a very very attractive and special vegetable, and I could fall in love with it, and leave my husband, and run off with it, and become Mrs. Nancy Butternut.
Now THAT would change my life.