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How dumb do they think we are?

October 13, 2010

What would happen if everyone just told the truth?

My all time favorite movie Crazy People (1990) starring Dudley Moore is about a stressed-out advertising exec who sets off a company scandal with his unorthodox, but truthful, ad campaigns. He is then sent to a mental institution where he finds friendship with a colorful group of patients, and love from a beautiful women played by Daryl Hannah. Meanwhile, as the ad campaigns accidentally go to print, “truthful advertising” becomes widely accepted and suddenly the agency wants him back.

“We can’t Level, we’re in Advertising”

(WATCH with Caution — Rated R (foul language))

Don’t do it.

As the media dishes out fluffy, enticing messages to us through various media vehicles, we need to ask ourselves how gullible are we? Or are we ready for the bare bone truth?  Do we want to hear that there is just no solution for the deep embedded wrinkles we have on our face, or that to lose weight we should just eat better and exercise without popping pills? We seem to be on a mission to improve ourselves both physically and mentally. I wonder why we rely on others to provide us solutions?  Let’s not be lazy.  Let’s get truthful with ourselves and demand that we have the right to honest messages and information.


Social Media has given us a vehicle in which our voices can instantly influence. Smart companies should invest more of their time and money exploring and learning more about consumer behavior and get creative in solutions. This is not a recommendation for just the “big fish”, many small businesses should be jumping on board with this.  Think of it as your own focus group and you don’t even have to pay anyone for their time. After seeing this tweet I am now reconsidering the reward system I had developed for my kid’s good behavior (typically a trip to McDonalds)  @KrisColvin: McDonald’s Happy Meal resists decomposition for Six Months.

I also discovered you can actually clean your toilet with coca-cola! Hey, it’s now multi-use. That might be a great new ad campaign for Coke, considering we are all looking for more “bang for our buck” these days.

I guessing that companies have quickly figured out that “truthful advertising” isn’t always profitable. Or is it? If we knew the truth, would we still make the same purchases? Sometimes the reasons for making a purchase have nothing to do with what the advertisers are telling us.

Do your Research:

Find out what and why consumers buy.


How truthful do ads have to be? >>

6 cases of shameless false advertising schemes >>

What is working? Clio award winners 2010 >>

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2010 6:14 pm

    Great post. Incidentally, I learned that vodka can be used as a stain remover. Ironically, it probably made the stains in the first place.

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