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.
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.