Is the court room the only place where people are telling the truth, anymore?
Regardless of where we live, the average American will see dozens of advertisements on billboards and city buses, in newspapers and magazines and on TV and computers every day. Everywhere we go, it is all around us. The question is: How much of what we see and hear is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth … and how much is based on half- truths or outright lies?
That is what Adfibs.com wants consumers to know.
Some sponsors use a soft sell and some use a hard sell approach. Some focus on presenting facts while others focus on entertaining viewers with an obviously humorous approach.
Whatever approach various sponsors choose to use, they all have the same objective – to get and keep the attention of as many consumers as possible. After all, advertising on TV is extremely expensive, so companies paying for the commercials must get a substantial financial return to make it worthwhile. How do they do that? Naturally, they do that by focusing on the many benefits the product has on customers who tried it and liked it.
Now does that mean everything consumers see and hear is absolutely true and everybody else will love the product, too? No, but I also do not believe it means that all ads are full of lies either. All companies sponsoring ads must have some truth to them or else they would be subject to all kinds of lawsuits, without a single leg to stand on. In fact, I would go so far as to guess that most statements made in most TV commercials are true, and the only deception to viewers would be found instead in what is not said – what is not included in the commercial. That part is left up to consumers to find out.
To me, whenever I see a TV commercial, it means that some people tried it, some people liked it and I might like it, too … or I might not. Just like we have different tastes in the kind of music we like and the kind of movies we enjoy watching, some of us will or will not like the various products we see advertised.
The positive side of advertising is that it does help people become more aware of latest technology and products that are available.
I believe it is our responsibility as consumers to constantly ask questions and conduct some research of our own so we can make educated decisions, and what is wrong with that? Shouldn’t we be doing that, anyway? Before we decide which political candidates to vote for, don’t we first conduct some research and do some reading to find out what each candidate stands for? Perhaps if more people did that, we would all be better off.
In my opinion, consumers should all be life-long learners and be curious enough to ask valid questions. Even as a young child, I remember saying to myself, “Ok, that part of the commercial might be true, but what are they not telling me … what don’t they want me to know?”
Is not telling us everything deceptive?
I remember a TV commercial that I thought was extremely deceptive. Back in the day before most women used dishwashers, a sponsor advertised a dishwashing detergent. They had several women line up, face to face, on two sides of their neighborhood street. One side use the dishwashing detergent for a couple weeks, while the women on the other side did not. Afterwards, the women line up again to compare hands. Of course, the ladies who used the detergent had much nicer, softer looking hands.
The reason I loathed that commercial is because I felt it was an insult to the intelligence of the American people, and this is a good example of deception being found in what is not said, in what is completely left out. Because we did not know how old these women were, the women using the dishwashing detergent might have been 10 years younger than the women on the other side of the street, so they might have had nicer looking hands in the first place, mostly because of age. Also, there was no way for viewers to know if the women using the dishwashing detergent also used additional products, such as hand creams to make their hands look so much younger and softer.
If that commercial had been done in a humorous manner, I might have just laughed it off. Because it was presented in a factual manner, however, I was so peeved over that commercial that for many years I refused to purchase the product.
Of course, there is only so much information sponsors can fit into a 30-second commercial, so we cannot logically expect them to dedicate much, if any time, to possible negative reactions to the product. When it comes to any pharmacy products, however, they usually come with a required medical statement at the end. I usually interpret those statements to mean, “This product will either improve your health … or cause you to die, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor first.”
For women suffering from osteoporosis, for instance, there are now various drugs available to help strengthen bones. What they fail to mention in those commercials (according to my doctor) is that when women take these drugs, it could also make their bones become more brittle, causing them to break more easily if they fall and possibly making the healing process take much longer.
The bottom line:
Figuring out what is not being said might be even more important than knowing whether what is being said is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.