Saturday, January 12, 2013

Retirement Heads-Ups — Misleading Advertising

Lately more advertising has me saying: “What the what?” I’m talking TV commercials, magazine ads and even those coupon fliers that come in the mail. The headlines don’t seem well-matched to the products they’re pushing. To prove my point, I’ve put together a quiz using actual tag lines and real items. See if you can identify the products from the copy provided. I’m giving you a list with all the answers and then some. Promise you won’t scroll to the bottom to see the correct ones.

1.        Less jiggle. More wiggle.
2.        It’s the only one that can go in that far and stay there.
3.        Slather. Pour.
4.        I heard sounds I hadn’t heard in years.
5.        For the epic adventures of everyday life.
6.        It’s like nothing ever changed.

a.     Suppositories
b.     Quaker Oats
c.     Treadmills
d.     Sex lotions and toys
e.     Spanx shapewear
f.      Log Cabin syrup
g.     Special K 100 calorie snacks
h.     Testicular implants
i.      Pedigree dog food
j.      Cialis ED medication
k.     Hearing aids
l.      IHOP restaurants
m.   Clear cuticle cream

Stumped on a few of these and need some hints? Here’s additional info or another copy line for some of them.
2 and 4. These are actually trick questions; they’re for the same product. (“It’s the only one that can go in that far and stay there” and “I heard sounds I hadn’t heard in years”.)
3. Slather. Pour. Eat. Repeat.
6. Neuticles. It’s like nothing ever changed.

That’s extra clues for at least half of them, giving you a 50-50 chance at sorting out the rest. At least I think it’s 50-50. Give up? Here are the answers, with my commentary.

1.     Less jiggle. More wiggle.
No, this is not the copy line for Spanx, a treadmill or even for Special K snacks, though you would be forgiven for guessing any of those. It’s for letter i—Pedigree dog food.
2.     It’s the only one that can go in that far and stay there. (See #4.)
3.     Slather. Pour.
You would have been forgiven for guessing sex lotions and toys before I gave you the extra hint “Eat. Repeat.” If you still guessed that after my hint, you’ve been reading too much “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (Forgive me for using a 2013 banned phrase; it won’t happen again.) Log Cabin Syrup falls into a gray area—oops! I mean less clear. If you planned to put that syrup on food, good job, but no cigar. If you were putting it on your partner, see my comment about your reading material. The correct answer here is: letter l—IHOP.
4.     I heard sounds I hadn’t heard in years and It’s the only one that can go in that far and stay there.
Either of these clues (number 2 or 4) probably had several of you thinking sex toys, or maybe even testicular implants. Once again, you need to clean up your bookshelves. If you guessed suppositories, you should add more fiber to your diet. These copy lines belong to letter k—hearing aids.
5.     For the epic adventures of everyday life.
You would be forgiven for thinking this might be treadmill copy. Or even for Cialis, what with their TV commercials with the bathtubs in exotic places. Some of you might even have considered suppositories; once again, two words: “more fiber.” Actually, this is the new “Quaker Up” campaign from letter b—Quaker Oats (speaking of fiber).
“Quaker up” was surely inspired by “cowboy up,” but their Ben-Franklin-type icon would look silly in a Stetson. Their premise is that oatmeal prepares you for life’s everyday epic adventures (and no, they’re not referring to your morning constitutional). Newsflash: “everyday epic” is an oxymoron. The Odyssey is epic; Hercules’ labors are epic. Riding a bike is not an epic adventure and you don’t cowboy up to a bowl of oatmeal. That said, “Quaker Up” sure beats “Fiber Up.”
6.     It’s like nothing ever changed.
Several of you will have figured this out from my extra clue, the brand name “Neuticles.” You’re forgiven if you fell for my plant of clear cuticle cream. This is my favorite, and the answer is letter h. Neuticles are testicular implants for pets that have been neutered. They claim to allow your pet to retain his self esteem. 
I doubt fake testicles will leave Rover feeling like nothing ever changed. Maybe they’ll leave his owner feeling less guilty. Something tells me this is a guy thing.

How’d you do? Five to six right: you’re a Madison Avenue pro. Three to four: you need to watch more TV. Two or fewer: you didn’t even try, did you?

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