Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Truth in advertising?...NOT!
Over the last several weeks I have heard a lot of laughter amongst my friends about "ludicrous" advertisements that are (captioned ridiculously for liability reasons)and tag lines that are laughable so, I thought, this could be a blog! The above situations made me ponder this topic...but there are so MANY inaccuracies where do I start or what example should I use? Then I went shopping this weekend before the show and it HIT ME, my latest experience (of which I have had many at this chain) was a PERFECT example! For which I thank them! I will not mention the chain but their advertising tag line is "where shopping is a pleasure"...a "PLEASURE"? Hmmmmm. Merriam Webster defines "pleasure" as "a feeling of happiness, enjoyment, or satisfaction : a pleasant or pleasing feeling" so is the definition I will go by. So let's look at the "PLEASURE" experience on any given day at this heavily add conscious company. I offer my thoughts predicated on MY particular criteria for choosing a place to shop(over the years I have found that MANY of you use the same criteria in no particular order). I use convenience, pricing, selection, the checking out process as my benchmarks, I also look toward customer service throughout the store but we all know most not all are poor at that! Convenience...is it "a feeling of happiness" to walk into different locations under the same name and spend literally hours trying to figure out where items are in that location...i.e. shredded cheese NOT in the dairy section but in the frozen food section with pizzas and frozen veggies...or hot dogs in the beer section sted the meat section...with every store making their own decision as to where THEY feel it should go..I could go on. Not to "pleasurable" to me. Pricing...consistently higher prices at these locations is it "enjoyable" to pay more for less...not in my mind. Selection...I walk in with a list of 10 items and am lucky to walk out with 5 after spending hours wandering around look for what I was able to find...am I "satisfied"? Not really! Checking out...how many times I have had 5 or less items and I have to stand in line at the 10 or less line because the customer service window is already occupied and the other lines (only 1/3rd of the lanes are open) they have baggers who want to run your groceries at every open lane but NEVER enough open lanes...in my last experience at said establishment I finally noted a glimmer of experimentation with scan your own (which my choice has had for several years)...however, they had a first screen that you could not advance past so scan your products until you entered 1 for English 2 for Spanish...REALLY? No satisfaction here! So, when a company heavily promotes in their advertising "where shopping is a pleasure", I wonder, who is receiving the "pleasure" surly NOT the average customer...wait, I know, the shareholders...unfortunately this chain has done well for them...but trust me friends it will not continue...their outdated and slow to grow with trends will lead to customers going to the competition in increasing numbers (I know a number that have left the above) as the competition is VERY aware of new customer concerns and needs and are reacting to them...like increased selection (including grab-and-go meals, organic, manning all lines during prime shopping times, offering easy scan your own, better pricing while offering bonuses for reducing your gas bill and working diligently at improving in areas where they are weak! I guess the old adage if you say it long enough people will believe it may be true at least in this particular case...but I am also confident and in my limited research I have found that another old adage is also true...fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME. If you think this one example of questionable advertising is just an anomaly, you would be right, however, I could give many more examples...neither time nor my fingers would allow it so I will leave you with this wildly expensive ad campaign offering...it will be "cheaper, better and give EVERYBODY unparalleled access to...healthcare"! So before you create a tag line to best represent your company in it's adds...think about it...be cautious and accurate so that your tag lines don't become a laughable JOKE line! Although a good JOKE can bring great "Pleasure" at least by Merriam Webster's definition.