Bob's Blog

Step right up

Snake OilOdd title for a blog piece, eh? Patience; all will be revealed. When marketing your product, never fall into the trap of making unprovable and in some cases, outrageous claims: you may get called out. It could be true that as marketers, us lot at Big Red Moose are more attuned to any aberrations in the commercial ether than most, but in truth, we are consumers as well. It’s just that we’re perhaps more aware of how we respond to marketing than most. In other words, I at least know why I bought this crap, which almost makes it worse.

Now, I know I have cited this example in the past, but it’s worth drawing attention to it again in this particular context: a well known and advertised mass-market disinfectant. You know, the one that kills 99.9% of germs. Really. Who counted them? Did they identify all the germs? Will it kill new, super-germs? (The media is forever warning us about super-bugs, why not super-germs?). The honest approach to this particular example - and would almost certainly be less off-putting to sceptics like us – would be to state that this product is invaluable in providing a safer environment for your family.

Everyone knows we don’t live in a perfect world, and no matter how fragrant your prize rose, there will always be aphids.

So, before you embark upon your next campaign, have a think about what you are claiming, and be aware that some claims could come back and bite you. Better still, be a little more selective in which organisation you select to disseminate your marketing messages. It’s stating the obvious, but we’re not going to miss the opportunity of a bit of shameless self-promotion; our strap-line is ‘marketing without the bull’. Just thought I’d drop that in…

Oh, the title of this piece. It’s a song by Tom Waits. You might want to type ‘Tom Waits Step right up lyrics’ into the search engine of your choice.