Misadvertising : Burgers are not as they seem
A thing is what it is, isn’t it!?
Well, it is … unless someone in marketing decides that it is not. You see there was a time, a long time ago, that everyone agreed that when selling a Sprocket it would be advertised fairly and would be described as it is. But then more people decided that they’d sell Sprockets and there was a problem. How do you make your Sprocket stand out from the crowd? How do you ensure that you sell more sprockets than the competition?
I like to think that the hard working folk of a hundred years ago may have taken the view that something like the word leather means it’s made from the back end of an animal and so the product would stand out by making it better… or adding an extra pocket for keeping your twine in. But these are modern times so we can be more creative. Instead we created PU Leather and so now we have leather jackets, leather handbags, leather wallets and all other manner of leather products that aren’t appropriate to list here. And they’re better because they’re cheaper and they’re leather… so says marketing. I would rather point out that they’re not. Leather has come from the hide of an animal, PU Leather has come from … heaven only knows where. It may look like it from a distance but that’s not quite enough to make it leather.
To talk about this I suppose we should first ask what is unlimited broadband. At the heart of it it means generally fast Internet based on either DSL or cable technology. But in time I fully expect at least cable to be reinterpreted as ‘two bean tins connected by string’. I never knew the term unlimited was in any way vague. To me it simply means ‘without a limit’, as in ‘no end’.
Marketing spin has redefined unlimited as ‘The amount we give is under what 90% of our users use’. Even this has been stretched in recent years as we’ve entered the age of truly rich media. If I use Spotify at my home office all day, watched BBC iPlayer or Hulu at night and the occasional Movie on Netflix or lovefilm I will go so far over ‘unlimited’ it doesn’t bear thinking about the excess charges.
For many people who see internet advertised as unlimited they will place their order based on the common understanding of the term, which is a fair assumption to make. Mobile firms are especially placing their customers at risk of massive cost overages with this kind of irresponsible marketing. Truly, I cannot fathom how this is anything short of false advertising.
I would love for all consumers to call time on the need to track down the whereabouts of the little asterisk to find out how a particular firm has reinterpreted unlimited Internet.
Running Late? Us? Never! Literally.
Travel operators, the term ‘on time’ is as equally simple as unlimited. Where a time is quoted for arrival or departure, you are ‘on time’ if you are before that time. Where you arrive or leave after that time we use to word ‘late’. It’s a binary kind of thing.
I was informed recently that on-time is anything up to the expected arrival time plus 10% of the journey time. The same operator defined overall ‘on time’ for the month as the average amount past arrival time of all routes in the area. I imagine the 10% thing features there somewhere too.
Madness. If I were to explain to the provider of my onward journey that their perception of my being late was wrong… I’m not so convinced they’d accept it.
And what about the burger?
Ah the burger. The thing that got me wanting to grumble. On the left below you have the marketing image of the Big Tasty from McDonalds and on the right you have a Big Tasty from McDonalds Princes Street, Edinburgh. What makes it worse is that my burger doesn’t look like the official image, even if I stand very very far back.
It may be funny to sit and look at how much things have been re-interpreted to sell us goods and services, but there is something huge a stake with this kind of behaviour … Trust. As consumers it’s difficult to trust the material we see these days and that makes it harder to make selections, to believe brand claims and ultimately to develop loyalty.
So why not stop trying to change the definitions of space and time and divert that energy into great products, services and aftercare.Google+