Thursday, September 1, 2011
Or, "I'm so sad. So, so sad. I need antidepressants and this is the brand I need. Now I'm skipping through a field of daisies, my dark frowny cartoon cloud behind me!" Ding, ding, ding, and your hidden prize contestant number one, is possible spontaneous decapitation!!! Yay! But don't worry, it's not self-inflicted death like it could have been when you were all down-in-the-dumps.
Or, "You have funky toenail growth? OH NOES! Use Yellobeegon and it'll all be better!" Except the side effect is something completely unrelated like, oh, Diabetes. Nice, Yellobeegon. Way to throw in a surprise disease.
Those are fun to talk about. We all do it and laugh at the ridiculousness of the side affects, usually because we don't have to consider taking the medicine unless it's worth it. This post in no way suggests that taking eyelash grower, depression meds, or toenail fungus corrective are bad. You should always take what you need to take after careful consideration. <--- see that? It's my very own disclaimer! I'm practically an industry now.
The second part of this post is related. The other kinds of disclaimers are the claims companies make that say their product doesn't or does do something other products have not claimed. Let me clear that up for ya.
Yesterday I saw a cereal ad on TV. We'll call it Special L whole grain. *wink* *wink*. The ad did the happily eating lady practically skipping back to the cupboard, leg extended as she pulled the box out (and by box, I mean cereal box, not the street lingo for that other lady type box which she totally was NOT eating).
Anyway, The announcer comes on and says something like, "Studies show that people who choose more whole grains in their daily diet are more likely to show weight loss."
Can I just wave my hand and cry "DUH!" Because let me translate what they were implying. "If you eat our whole grain cereal like this trim happy lady, you'll look like her and be healthier! Our cereal has everything you need for success!"
What they actually said, "In general people who already eat healthily tend to eat foods that have whole grains in them. As a study subject, those that live healthier lifestyles may find they lose weight with non processed foods and regular exercise. Our cereal can be added to a lifestyle like that but is actually just a side note in someone's already healthy lifestyle. You choosing our cereal while you sit on your ass and eat potato chips and Hershey bars the rest of the day won't do a damn thing for the numbers on the scale. We'll just let you believe it will, because we want to sell you the idea. You're welcome."
Or the insurance ads (there seem to be so many these days. What's up with that?) where one of them says, "OUR company bundles your usage so that your price is reduced. Aren't we clever?" When in reality, MOST companies bundle. But the suggestion is that no one else does what they do.
Or, "Other energy companies charge you on a variable rate plan. WE use a fixed rate all year long!" Yet if you look at the downer company offerings, why yes they do have a variable rate plan BUT THEY ALSO have a fixed rate plan depending on what the client wants. So the advertising company makes it sound like the downer company sucks rocks and jacks up prices every month, when in reality, the ad people only shared part of the information.
So what does this have to do with me? I'm gonna tell you! I'm a writer as are many of you readers. We need our own advertising disclaimer. I for one opt to use the bundle company technique. I think I should claim things that my books have and just ignore the fact that others have them too.
"Buy Mia Watts and Katie Blu books. SHE ALWAYS has a happy ending and there's tons of sex. SHE won't leave you disappointed and SHE never dumbs down her language because she knows her readers are SMART."
:) You see? I just made it sound like all the other authors don't have sex, use second grade wording because other authors think readers aren't clever, and I'm the only one with a happy ending. Who says you can't learn from television?
I suppose I should at least add the other kind of disclaimer. I mean old wive's tales should be heeded....
Announcer's voice: Reading Mia Watts or Katie Blu may result in blindness from excessive self-stimulation. Arousal lasting more than four hours should occur. Be sure to seek medical attention from a hung medical professional if symptoms persist.