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Author Topic: Deciphering the message  (Read 1374 times)
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« on: August 17, 2008, 05:29:03 PM »

Why would a news organization tell you that their news is fair and balanced? Probably because research has shown them that there is a perception problem, that too many people think that their news is not fair and balanced (and why would they think that!). If you accept this premise, you have the key - black is white, good is bad, reliable is unpredictable, low price is expensive, available is not available…and so on. When was the last time anyone told you that you can buy a car with certain options? No, options no longer exist. Larger engines are available, fancy sound systems are available, performance wheels are available; but they are not available to you, not for the stated price. They are - dare I say it? - optional.
ooooBy now I am sure you've noticed that any weight loss product is guaranteed to work, together with a sensible diet and plenty of exercise. So, what exactly does the product contribute here? Then there's fast Internet access, fifty time faster than dial-up. Never mind that it's ten times slower than the competition.
oooo Think about this the next time you read an ad, a slogan, a label: Why are these folks choosing the words they are choosing? In all probability, it is because they are trying to overcome some identified sales resistance. If you know that products from company X are low priced (cheap was killed off a long time ago), and they know that you know, then there's no point in restating that fact in advertising. But maybe you think that with low price comes lower quality, so what do the advertisers do? They start touting quality. Never mind that the quality is not there - after all it's only advertising. Some years ago a company that made magnetic tape developed a packaging scheme that projected luxury; through this simple stratagem they were able to command premium prices for a product that was no different from any other.
ooooFor a while Internet blogs helped us navigate through claims and counterclaims, but commercial forces are not to be denied. For any blog you can start, there are a hundred blogs that are bought and paid for by commercial interests. So, what is one to do? Decipher each message starting from the premise that the opposite of what is said is true. You can't go wrong. (Think about that last sentence.)
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