Yesterday I drove past a car dealership with a large animated sign saying:
Your (sic) crazy if you don’t buy your car from [us]!
Either way you look at it, it’s a stupid thing to say. The literal meaning is a claim that the vast majority of car buyers (who buy from other dealers) have a mental illness. Not only is it unwise to mock prospective customers (who have previously purchased their cars elsewhere), the statistical rate of mental illness in our community would indicate that this claim is patently untrue.
The obvious intended meaning, however, is that this dealership believes itself to be so fantastic that customers who use other dealers miss out. But miss out on what? They haven’t bothered to tell us. Instead of telling us what we would find remarkable about them, they’ve instead decided to shout ‘We’re fantastic’ at tens of thousands of passing motorists.
Later in the day I saw a life-size poster of a male hairdresser standing in front of four models with bad wigs. A tagline boldly proclaimed:
[Hairdresser’s name]. More than just a hairdresser.
What does ‘more’ mean? What about him being ‘more’ is of any use to me? What’s the intent behind the phrase ‘just a hairdresser’ (why denigrate your core offering)? Finally, why give the models bad wigs when you could show four women with fantastic haircuts?
We consumers don’t want vendors telling us that they’re fantastic – we’ll be the judge of that.