The setup is simple.
A family—mother, father and daughter—sit around a dinner table. The father reaches over and pushes a plate of broccoli to his daughter.
“Just have one broccoli.”
The daughter pushes it away.
A shove of war begins between father and daughter.
And then a stranger walks in; a woman in a red dress.
“The solution is here,” she says to the camera.
Baiting With the Truth
You may recognize this as Ore-Ida’s new commercial for their Golden Crinkles fries.
The commercial popped up as an ad on my YouTube feed one morning. I generally have little patience for ads, and twenty minutes before I have to leave the house for work is typically when my patience is at my thinnest.
I watched the entire commercial from beginning to end.
It’s a great commercial.
It’s funny. It’s entertaining.
But it’s more than just that.
It baits with the truth.
Meaning . . . What?
As a kid, I remember walking through the cereal aisle in a store and pulling down the unhealthy cereals.
Without fail, the box would proceed to explain that the cereal was not as unhealthy as you thought.
In fact, science has proven that there are health benefits to chocolate and sugar and coating every grain of your food in honey.
You could even go so far as to say that, if you were looking for a well-balanced, healthy meal, then this cereal’s blend of grain, healthy protein, and just a dash of sugar was precisely the answer you were looking for.
I would read those cereal boxes and roll my eyes.
Who did they think they were fooling? Everyone knows they’re not healthy. No one buys them because they’re healthy.
They buy them to shut their kids up.
Sure, there’s always someone who believes the marketing BS.
But for every one of those, there are four more who laugh mockingly at the marketing.
And though they buy the cereal, they buy it despite the marketing, not because of it.
Showing the Catch
But marketing has gotten smarter since then.
We know that when we try to sell you a product, that cynical voice inside of you asks, “What’s the catch?”
And that voice can’t be silenced. The more we try to distract it by talking how great your product is, the more you ask, “What’s the catch?”
So we learned not to distract it. We address it head-on by saying, “This is the catch.”
And it works. Because now that we told you the truth, you’re ok to listen to the rest of what we have to say.
That’s what Ore-ida is doing here.
They could try to convince you that their Golden Crinkles fries are healthy. But you wouldn’t buy it.
You’d sit there, wondering what the catch is.
So they tell you up-front what the catch is.
You’re only buying them to bribe your kids.
Rather than denying the catch, Ore-ida sells by embracing it.
Because the truth can be seductive.
You just have to tell it right.
Watch the commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8ZUvU_SW-I
Eli Landes is one of those weird writers who just can't get enough. A marketing writer by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time, he spends his spare time working on his novel, writing short fiction, or daydreaming (I mean, researching). His main genre is Jewish fiction, but he's been known to dabble in the weird, the absurd, and the truly dark.
Eli Landes (the dude whose blog you're reading right now) is a marketing copywriter by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time. He's gotten pretty good at it, and has decided to share his "wisdom." Sigh. I guess they let everyone do this these days.
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