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Published April 18, 2010
The Association of Press is reporting today about a three month long investigation which concluded that corporations have been using hyperbole to market their products.  This, of course, is in direct contradiction to what we in the media and much of the public has assumed for years that what were being fed literal truths.  According to the 500 page report, products like Smart Water along with popular ad slogans such as “breakfast of champions” may be factually incorrect.  In a statement released today by MIT, they say, “At this time there does not seem to be an immediate effect on a person’s intelligence after the consumption of Smart Water.  We did notice however, that dehydration and dry mouth were adversely effected in the process.  We are still looking into these findings.”  Attempts to speak with Wheaties about their ad campaign were unsuccessful, but there have been unconfirmed reports of at least five individuals who have eaten Wheaties yet are not champions.  This is a crushing blow to marketers throughout the business community who have filled their campaigns with cold hard facts and unrelenting truths.

This being the era of social media, the blogosphere is already wrought with commentary and critique.  One product, Skinny Water which has printed on its bottle, “Recycle – Our planet needs to be skinny too” has come under enormous scrutiny.   At first glance one might infer that the company is merely promoting recycling through imagery and personification as a cry to action.  Untrue says blog commenter Jane Komplain, “Is recycling really making the world skinnier?  Skinnier?  That, like, doesn’t even make sense.”  This sentiment has consumed the web, an outcry from those looking back at a day when all product names were factual and self explanatory.  Gatorade, Poweraid, Laffy Taffy and Superman Ice Cream have been targeted by similar groups.

What are we to infer by these developments?  Can’t we live in a world where we get everything we want through a $1.99 cherry water drink with infused vitamins?  Doesn’t drinking Skinny Water mean we can cancel our gym memberships and leave Lane Bryant behind?  No.  Marketers have now pigeon holed the public into having to think beyond product labels.  Gone are the days of looking at names like Muscle Milk and automatically assume our bodies will bulge until the shirts rip from our chests.  The industry has entered an era where slogans and product names merely allude to what is possible, not actual.

In a related story, Lake Superior may not be superior to the other Great Lakes.  Details soon to come.

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