Thursday, November 06, 2008

Good gimmick

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

Stephen Leacock · 1869-1944

In 1989, my 5-year-old daughter fell for those alluring commercials for Go-Go My Walkin' Pup. Set to happy music, they featured a smiling girl dance-walking down the sidewalk with her charming toy dog, while onlookers admired the pair.Hasbro Go-Go Pup
Of course, Lori wanted one of those dogs ... and of course I foolishly shelled out forty bucks for one.

Lori quickly discovered that her new Go-Go Pup wasn't nearly as fun as the commercials made it seem. Fortunately, she and I learned an important lesson:

· Advertising is intended to deceive the consumer ·

To this day, I still respect the creativity of clever marketing. Although I think Apple's newest iPhone app is ho-hum, I was impressed with the various sensory elements of its one-minute promotional video, which make it seem as fun as the Go-Go Pup did to my little girl.

Slick merchandising:

  • By playing the best rock song of all time, it reaches teens to Baby Boomers.
  • The models' various ethnic origins, and even the patterned rug, suggest Ocarina's worldwide appeal.
  • Any idiot can play this thing, from a plain Jane or average Joe to a hash-pipe smoking hippie.
  • Never be lonely again! From the looks of this cozy group, the Smule Ocarina evidently encourages camaraderie and friendship ... right?