Advertising Humor

Ad people normally love the notoriety associated with this profession. As a good example, here's a poster from the suite of the creative director of a big ad agency.

The Dillemma

My family is a bit weird. My father is serving a life sentence for murder. My mother ran away when we were kids. I have a brother in advertising and both my sisters are whores.

I've managed to stay relatively clean and as a consequence I've just met the woman of my dreams. I'll do anything not to lose her and yet I don't feel good lying to her. So I'm in a big dilemma and just don't know what to do! What's your suggestion? Do you think I can tell her about my brother who's in advertising?

You want it? You've got it.

One of the important branches of advertising is market research. Nowadays you probably get an opinion poll before you do anything. Yet it is very important before you believe the numbers in an opinion poll that you look at the way the questions were phrased for the poll. Otherwise good pollsters can give you whatever results you'd like by manipulating the questions. Sir Humphrey Appleby demonstrates this point most aptly to Bernard in Yes Prime Minister ...

The PM has just gotten the results of an opinion poll. It says that 67% people would be in favor of reintroducing conscription. Sir Humphrey asks Bernard to get another opinion poll done in which the results are the opposite. Bernard can't understand how people can be both for and against conscription. So, Sir Humphrey demonstrates by quizzing him...

"Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
"Do you think there is lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?"
"Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?"
"Do they respond to a challenge?"
"Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"

Now onto Survey 2

"Mr. Woolley are you worried about the danger of war?"
"Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?"
"Do you think there's a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
"Do you think its wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
"Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"

(If you think Bernard is confused YOU try to take both the surveys again. See whether you come up with different answers. I didn't. The questions skillfully lead you to where they want you.)

Guide to Understanding Advertising Lingo

NEW - Different color from previous design.

ALL NEW - Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.

EXCLUSIVE - Imported product.

UNMATCHED - Almost as good as the competition.

FOOLPROOF OPERATION - No provision for adjustments.

ADVANCED DESIGN - The advertising agency doesn't understand it.

IT'S HERE AT LAST - Rush job. Nobody knew it was coming.

FIELD TESTED - Manufacturer lacks test equipment.

HIGH ACCURACY - Unit on which all parts fit.

FUTURISTIC - No other reason why it looks the way it does.

REDESIGNED - Previous flaws fixed - we hope.

DIRECT SALES ONLY - Factory had a big argument with distributor.

YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT - We finally got one to work.

BREAKTHROUGH - We finally figured out a use for it.

MAINTENANCE FREE - Impossible to fix.

MEETS ALL STANDARDS - Ours, not yours.

HIGH RELIABILITY - We made it work long enough to ship it.


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