Once upon a time, but not that long ago, a brand message could be successful even if it was close to a work of fiction.
Created by Madison Avenue wordsmiths, copy for an ad or brochure was crafted to manipulate and motivate using puffery, a legal term referring to acceptable marketing exaggeration. And most of the time it worked. In fact, generations of consumers allowed themselves to be manipulated by puffery that became part of the soundtrack of our lives. Here are three Memory Lane examples:
“Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is.”
“Put a tiger in your tank.”
“The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.”
Here’s a local example: “Largest inventory in the tri-state area.”
Since the release of the Internet for commercial use in 1993, the 10,000-year-old Age of the Seller paradigm has shifted in favor of the Age of the Customer. The primary differentiator between the two Ages is control of the information, which your customer now co-owns, including the truth about your products, services, and marketplace behavior. This customer control is derived in part from something called User-Generated Content, or UGC. [Continue Reading]