Turd polishing

There’s very little worse than bad advertising. But truly, there’s nothing worse than seeing a company pretend their product is superior, when it most obviously isn’t. There’s nothing more painful, disgusting and just downright wrong, than watching someone polish a turd.

There’s a great quote by David Ogilvy about being selective with the products you choose to advertise. It goes something along the lines of:

“You should whole-heartedly believe that the product you are selling is the best. Because if you don’t believe it,  your audience never will.”

I think it’s a nice reminder that advertising is often not as influential as the industry would have you believe.

If you’re trying to sell something unbelievable, it ends up looking like this:


Google isn’t the number one search engine in the world because of advertising like this:
(although I’m sure it helps)


Google is number one because its search works – It’s that simple.

The other day, I had forgotten the name of the movie, “Children of Men”. I couldn’t remember the name of the actors, but I could remember the plot of the movie: that no new children were being born. So, using Google, I took the little piece of information I had, and Google delivered. I was so impressed with this result, that I tried it across multiple search engines.

This was the result.

bingsearch yahoosearchgooglesearchNo matter what you’re trying to sell, it won’t be believable unless you believe it yourself.

Quick note for the pedants: A product doesn’t have to be best overall, just the best in its market. For example, traffic on DuckDuckGo – a privacy-based search engine – grew after the recent NSA controversy. DuckDuckGo obviously isn’t a better search engine than Google, but it clearly is the best for its market.