There are a lot of advertisers who got messages out very quickly during the shut down due to the COVID19 virus.  Almost all of the messages use the same format:  we are good guys and we have put some special programs out as a result of COVID19.

Some have made donations to causes, food banks, made changes to operations to help shoppers, many things.  Almost all of them good things.  Good for them for taking swift initiatives.

But their hurried advertising mostly misses the boat.  They are all about how terrific they are for doing their programs.

It reminds me of Trump giving himself a 10 out of 10 for handling the plague while thousands of people die around him.  Not credible.

The messages should not be about the advertiser.  They should be about the customer, from the customers’ point of view.

One rule of gaining credibility is motivation of the source.  Why is this person saying what they are saying.  If it is in their own self interest, it is less believable.

If I tell you I am terrific, you are doubtful and may think I am a jerk for saying so.  Why?  Because I have a personal stake in you thinking I am terrific.

If someone else tells you I am terrific, it is much more believable.  You might wonder about how that person is associated with me, but that may be secondary.

If you over hear someone, not associated with me, telling someone else I am terrific, that is much more believable.  You won’t even wonder whether the person making the statement is associated with me.

If the messaging around COVID19 started from a consumers point of view, the result would be much more powerful.

I have the same problem with a lot of the car ads telling us they won awards.  I suppose I am supposed to think if they were good enough to win an award, the vehicle must be good enough for me.  Don’t make me go through all this thought process.  Tell me the benefits for me that might have helped win that award.

Perhaps they are influenced by the age of Trump, the braggart, the self proclaimed genius.  However, I think most of those who started by believing Trump had some intelligence have seen him flailing and failing.  So simply bragging that you are doing something great, particularly at this time, is not a strong way to make your point.

I know people understand these are commercials, but the advertisers are not giving people room or reason to believe, just a straight assertion.  I certainly wouldn’t give most of these advertisers 10 out of 10.

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