26 Nov THE GREATEST ARTICLE IN THE ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE ABOUT MAKING CLAIMS
All other articles are not even fit to grovel at its mighty feet as it towers above them on the throne of awesomeness.
Everyone has opinions. Everyone.
And that’s not an opinion. That’s a fact. Apparently, it goes hand-in-hand with possessing a brain capable of conscious thought. You think, and then you start thinking things about the things you’re thinking about. Of course, taking it a step further by thinking things and then thinking things about the things you were thinking about the things you were thinking about will probably land you in a mental institution, but it’s good to know you have options.
The reason we’re even discussing opinions here in the world’s greatest article about claim-making is because you are entitled to them. Really. You can have all the opinions you want, even the really stupid ones. It’s your right.
Isn’t that awesome?
Of course it is. But even if you don’t agree that it is, in fact, awesome, you’re still allowed to maintain your bizarre delusions for as long as you want, and continue to linger, alone and confused, in the abattoir of reason.
Alas, there’s the rub. You’re entitled to your opinions, but so is everybody else. That means a guy who wears socks with sandals and suspenders with his shorts is every bit as entitled to his opinion as you are. You might need to take a moment to let the agony of that painful truth abate. It’s okay. We’ll wait.
To help you, here’s a gallery of cute kitten pictures
Those aren’t kittens
Sorry. My bad. Must have gotten my links confused. That’s life on the Interwebs, for you!
Anyways, like we were saying…
Before your degenerate kitten-seeking derailed the very important points being made in this, the most profoundly meaningful article ever penned by humankind, we were discussing opinions, and how even degenerate kitten-seekers may have them.
What does this have to do with advertising claims? Plenty, but before we dig into that subject, we should first talk about facts.
Facts are not the same as opinions, just like kittens aren’t the same as dogs. Please refer to figures A and B.
As you can likely see, the difference between kittens and dogs is clear and irrefutable. This is what we call a “fact.”
It differs from an opinion in that it can be easily proven by anyone with a brain. Kittens and dogs are different. You might not believe it, but you can’t disprove it. So deal with it.
Now, with any luck, you’re saying to yourself “well, DUH!” and wondering why you are bothering to even read this crap. But let me remind you that is this hands down the most incredible article ever written, one of mankind’s most towering achievements. Also, there’s apparently a lot of confusion these days between facts and opinions.
So, let’s set the record straight.
Something that is provably true is a fact. And here’s the important part: WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE IT. Facts are objective. They don’t care what you believe. They remain true regardless.
This means that you are free to believe kittens and dogs are the exact same thing, but your belief doesn’t change anything. It just makes you look like a moron.
Do you want to look like a moron? Probably not. But hey, you may believe it’s cool to look like a moron. That’s fine. You’re entitled to your opinion.
ALRIGHT ALREADY, WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ADVERTISING CLAIMS?
I’m so glad you asked.
You see, when you advertise your company, product, or service, you need to make claims about it. For example, let’s say you were promoting your line of pre-chewed gum products. You wouldn’t simply say “pre-chewed gum exists and we sell it,” would you? Hell no! You’d want to let prospective customers know that you offer the best pre-chewed gum available. You’d want to make a case for how your pre-chewed gum products are far superior to competitive pre-chewed gum products, perhaps even to all of the unchewed gum brands on the market.
Of course you’d want to tell consumers why they should buy your pre-chewed gum instead of some lesser product. But can you?
This is a question that hangs up advertisers far more often than it should, and it’s probably the result of “truth-in-advertising” laws.
These laws are designed to keep advertisers honest and protect consumers from fraud. Backed by the oversight and enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), truth-in-advertising laws provide necessary consumer protection, and can severely punish businesses that violate them.
However, while they can and do restrict what may be said about a company, product, or service, they don’t keep advertisers from promoting their products, because they can’t. Remember? You have the right to your opinions and beliefs. The Constitution says so.
That means you’re allowed to say you offer “the best pre-chewed gum in America,” even if it isn’t something you can prove. It’s your opinion. You’re entitled to own it, and to share it with the world.
Surprisingly, many struggle with making the simple advertising claim of being “the best” at anything for fear of running afoul of truth-in-advertising laws. Instead, they opt for weaker messaging like “a wonderful pre-chewed gum solution” or “high-quality pre-chewed gum for people of all ages.” And then they go out of business and live out the remainder of their days in a cardboard box with a picture of a kitten taped to the wall, wondering what might have been.
So what about truth-in-advertising?
Remember the difference between facts and opinions? Well, if something can’t be proven true, it’s probably an opinion, and should be fair game. You can’t have truth enforcement when there is no truth to enforce, can you?
You can say that your pre-chewed gum is “the best in the world” because nobody is going to require you to prove it. No matter what. Even if you yourself know that your pre-chewed gum tastes like the dirty shoes you harvest it from, or that a competitor’s pre-chewed gum is a billion times more tasty and desirable, you can still call yours “the best.”
How is that right? That doesn’t seem right. What are you trying to pull?
Caveat emptor. A phrase that proves even ancient societies dealt with this same issue and the best they could come up with was “buyer beware.” Consumers are expected to maintain a basic level of skepticism. And to have opinions of their own.
So if you try to peddle your crappy-ass shoe gum as “the greatest pre-chewed sensation your taste buds will ever experience,” you can be certain that there will be plenty of consumers who are thinking: “Yeah, sure. A box of rotting frogs would taste better.”
Opinions. Everybody has them. And if your claims are too far from your consumers’ experience, you better believe they will make it known.
Now what you CAN’T say is that your pre-chewed gum will “make you taller, and cause baby ducklings to follow you wherever you go,” or anything else that could be easily disproven. Those are what we call “lies,” and promoting them is what we call “fraud.” Don’t commit fraud. Just be honest. And don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic.
The truth is that there is always plenty to say when advertising a company, product, or service, even if you know it’s not the best. Perhaps your pre-chewed gum is “affordable,” or “popular.” Or, maybe you’re “the original” pre-chewed gum brand because you were one of the first to market. There’s gotta be SOME reason why someone would buy your brand, or there’s no reason to be selling it at all.
So there you have it
We’re glad you enjoyed this incredible article filled with keen insight and fantastic advice. We’re certain that you’re going to want to share it with all of your friends, who will probably congratulate you on your impeccable taste and remarkable intellect. So why not tell a friend?
Of course, if you want to hire the best, most creative advertising and marketing agency since the very dawn of time, you should not hesitate to call DAMN GOOD today. Go on. Do it already!