Jan 09

A thought occurred to me this morning while I was swishing mouthwash before heading out the door. All the commercials you see for Scope and Listerine show these people taking a giant gulp of mouthwash and swishing it around with cheeks puffed out like Dizzy Gilespie (watch for it next time, it’s pretty funny). And my inclination is always to take a big swig. In reality though, it takes exactly one sip of mouthwash to achieve the same benefit (probably 1/10th of what they show in a commercial). It’s obviously in their best interest, however, that you take a huge pull so you buy another bottle in 2wks.

Of course we plant similar mental seeds when we point out that JumpBoxes are so inexpensive and easy to use, you might benefit from getting multiple apps even if you came in search of only one. We also plant the seed that “you’ve discovered something unique which represents such a productivity boost and value in time-savings value, why not get an extra one and surprise a friend with it as a gift?” Guilty as charged of planting seeds and yet it’s different in that there is genuine value in what we propose vs. the idea of encouraging over-consumption of an exhaustible item to increase the frequency with which you must replace it.

What other instances of “passive aggressive” advertising in commercials and ads have you noticed?

3 Responses to “Passive Aggressive Advertising”

  1. Troy Allen says:

    Shampoo & Conditioner is another common example. They show the consumer squirting out a huge palm-full of product, when in reality all it takes is small dollop to be effective.

  2. Justin says:

    Shaving cream and many cleaning products. I notice this phenomenon ALL the time but am lacking a specific example. It always irks me.

  3. sean says:

    yea definitely all the personal care products have this going on. Dish soap- they always show pouring a huge amount in the sink. Laundry detergent- really doesn’t take much… so pretty much all cleaning fluids apparently.

    The other time i catch myself wanting to use more than is necessary is with stuff like spaghetti sauce- they always show them just piling huge amounts on top.

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