Insulting our intelligence

“I am well educated, smart and sophisticated. Much smarter than you.” – at east that what it seems like advertisers these days are trying to tell me with their ads.

Advertisers need to remember that in America today many schools teach critical thinking skills. We learn to question everything, to be skeptical because it develops our cognitive skills. So knowing this, advertisers need to realize – if you are talking down to customers they won’t react well.

Here’s one example of a TV commercial that just comes out and insults our intelligence from start to finish, even with a catchy jingle and humorous lyrics: the Free Credit spot. They say they’re “free” – it’s in their name, sing about being “free” and yet at the very end they quickly state, “offer applies with enrollment…” and in order to enroll you must use your debit/credit card. So I guess it’s not free. you treat me like I am an idiot, so I choose to ignore you, forever.

Another example is Honda’s Cog TV spot, thought to be to complicated for the US market, it was never released here. Judge for yourself if this concept seems far too difficult to grasp?

We are all experts about the products we market and sell (or should be), but let’s be careful about assuming to little about our customers.