If you ask anyone what their IQ is, they will give you a number higher than 100.  Guaranteed.

But how can that be?  The IQ is an index against the average with 100 being the average.  This means, by definition, that about half of the population has an IQ over 100 and half the population is under 100.

So it is impossible for much more than half the population to have scores higher than 100.  But, ask anyone and you will never meet someone who claims an IQ of 90.

What about the prices people and advertising claim for products?  Everyone thinks they pay less than retail.  Advertisers often feature “lower than retail” for their retail prices.

So how can everyone beat the average?

We can’t.

But we can all deceive ourselves.  And we are really good at it.  So good, we don’t admit we are doing it.

We can all rationalize that our perception is more authentic than reality.  And we are smarter than the average bear.

As I have discussed in earlier blogs about how to do comparative advertising, when a person’s perception and reality collide, perception is considered to be more real than reality, more factual than actual.

That may not be logical, Mr. Spock, but that is reality.

So for advertising purposes, the ways people perceive things is more important than reality.  For customers the perception is the reality.

That means understanding psychology is more important than understanding logic.

We are constrained by lawyers and the laws that impinge on our hyperbole.  But those lawyers and their laws are stuck in facts.

Advertisers often make irrational claims that are perceived to be entirely logical to get above average results.  It is a tribute to the human ability for self deception.

Come to think of it, when is the last time you heard an advertising agency claim to have gotten results that were below average?

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