July 21, 2007

The taste of flavor



The other night, I heard a jingle for a beverage that started out, "The taste of flavor. . . ." There were other lyrics, but "the taste of flavor" stayed with me.

It reminded me of nut companies who proclaim "No cholesterol!" on the front of their packages, when nuts never had cholesterol to begin with; or companies who call their product "lite" because of the color or texture, not because of the calorie content; or candy bars called "fun size" when they're smaller than regular candy bars.

Basically, it's a bunch of meaningless words. To me, it's a joke and I can laugh at it, annoying though it may be. But there are a lot of really gullible people out there who say, "Wow, those peanuts don't have any cholesterol - I better buy that brand!"

And I'm not making this up; I won't name names, but I know real people who fall for statements like "Certs with Retsyn" like it actually means something or indicates a superior product.

So, along with jargon, clich├ęs and marketing-speak, let's also do away with meaningless descriptions that confuse rather than clarify.

As speakers, it's our duty to our audiences to deliver the information they want in a way they can understand it. Simple.

Which meaningless commercials drive you crazy?

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

fetosoap said...

Well these aren't meaningless commercials, but widely used UNREGULATED terms used on cosmetic items:
Natural
Hypoallergenic
Cruelty Free
Fragrance Free

I get asked "Is your soap hypoallergenic?" all the time.

I try to explain that hypoallergenic is a term that was coined by advertisers and is a just a claim that the ingredients used in the formulation cause fewer allergic reactions for most people.

To most people, it means something. Man, those advertisers were smart!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

It helps people to have a reference point; otherwise, where do they even begin to look to find a product that meets their standards. Unfortunately, very few of those terms are backed up by any official organization.

I think you can get a Humane Cosmetics Standard certification that has a little bunny logo. But still, anyone can call their product anything, even if there's no certifying body.

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