February 3rd, 2008

Ad Strategy: This is Better Than Nothing

By Tribune Staff Report
Chicago Tribune

The sticker on a carton of milk in our refrigerator this week featured a photo of a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats and a cartoon Mini-Wheat smiling and pointing to words on a chalkboard: “Clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%!”

Wow? Have they added caffeine to Mini-Wheats?

Not quite. The fine print explained, “Based upon independent clinical research, kids who ate Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast had up to 18 percent better attentiveness three hours after breakfast than kids who ate no breakfast.”

The italics are mine. But in my flabbergast at the preposterous phoniness of the implication that Mini-Wheats could make a kid more attentive, I had an idea to promote my blog: “Reading ‘Change of Subject’ will improve your awareness of current events by 70 percent! (compared with those who do not read news and commentary in any form or follow the news).”

Readers had other, similar marketing ideas:

Pan: “OnTime Airlines will to get you to your destination 98% faster! (than if you had to walk).”

Gladys: “Pepsi is 100% effective at preventing death! (those who consumed Pepsi over a 3-week period were 100% less likely to die of dehydration than those who received no liquids at all).”

Phil Kosin: “Golfers using a Big Bomb driver hit the fairway 60 percent more often than golfers using their own driver! (in a test of golfers using a Big Bomb driver in daylight vs. golfers using their own driver in the dark).”


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