Hyperbole

This is going to be the best post I’ve EVER written!  EVERYONE’S going to want to sign up for my blog just to read this!

Sounds like I’m full of myself, doesn’t it?  That’s exactly how I feel whenever I turn on the TV and hear the same hype over a new movie, diet program, or latest “must have” product.

When it comes to the movies, are people really more inclined to go see one, if it’s been touted as “The best movie of 2012!” already?  Come one . . . we’re not even two months into the year!  How great can a movie be that isn’t a summer blockbuster or fall awards front-runner?  Not that there aren’t some enjoyable movies that come out before the summer and fall, but “Best Movie of the Year!”?  I highly doubt it.

Craig’s told me that hyperbole runs rampant in sports, too.  He says that announcers are always talking about a play being the BEST play they’ve ever seen in their life (yes, they use those kinds of time references), or some rookie being “so amazing!” or “never seen anything like him!”  If sportscasters say those things every year, wouldn’t it seem like a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?  How can you even believe the validity of comments that get thrown around like beads at Mardi Gras?

What is with the “need” to pump things up so much?  Is it that companies want to get all the consumers’ money so badly that they’ll stoop to any means by which they can accomplish that?  (No need to answer that, it’s purely rhetorical.  I’ve worked in Marketing before.)  I assume there are people on whom this exaggeration actually works–if not, this technique would’ve died out long ago–but who are these people?  Are they the ones who get chosen to be Nielsen Families?

Whenever I see a product or movie touted and advertised so incessantly that I can recite every word of the ad within a week, I automatically deem it crap, and refuse to watch or buy it, on principle alone.  Maybe that makes me a rebel, but I prefer to think that I’m immune to gimmicks designed to entice me into thinking a certain way.  That just reeks to me of brainwashing.

I’ve mentioned before how I refuse to buy anything by Apple.  That all started when I was living in Chicago, and the iPod first came out.  I was waiting at the “el” stop at Clark and Lake, and every available inch of the platforms were decorated with the dancing shadow ads they were using at that time.  They even had some of the shadow dancers plastered on the floor at the top of the escalators.

I got so sick of  seeing those ads EVERYWHERE, every day, for months, that I tried my best to look anywhere else while waiting for the train to come.  When I kept hearing everyone else talk about how they “had” to have one, that furthered my disdain.  Then, when I learned about all the bugs that ran rampant in the product for the first several months – and how some people had to buy new ones within a month or two of purchasing the first one – I vowed there was no WAY I’d ever succumb to all the hyperbole that was the Apple advertising juggernaut.

Why do so many people seem to fall for the hype of advertising?  Let’s go back to the movies for a moment.  If a movie is being touted as the best movie ever – but it’s directed by someone who’s films you’ve repeatedly hated – would you really go see this new movie, just because of a major advertising campaign?

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says:

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion

I don’t mean to call any of my fellow human beings ignorant, but I have to agree that I feel it’s better for a person to make his/her own decisions.  If you honestly want to go see a movie (or buy a product) because you think you’d like it, then by all means, do, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.  But, if you’re spending your money on something because of an ad you saw, maybe it’s best to assess whether you really “need” said item.

I know, I know, “need” and “want” are two separate things.  I’ll have to discuss that in a future blog.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly Chamberlin
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 08:22:50

    Boy, did you push my buttons this morning. :} First, ignorant is not an insult, in my thoughts: ignorant means not knowing. Our country, unfortunately is made up of more “followers” (ignorance) than leaders, (which does take a lot more involvement) & they are comfortable with it.The sad part of an hyperbole, to me is, if it didn’t work so well they wouldn’t keep using them. LOVES ;}

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 27, 2012 @ 09:33:29

      I agree that ignorant means uninformed, not “stupid”. But following all the hype that advertisers throw out there doesn’t make someone well-informed. As you said, that route is often just taking the easy way out.

      Thanks for visiting today, mom.

      Reply

  2. Dana
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 09:04:04

    I don’t mind hyperbole if someone really means what they’re saying… but advertisers really don’t, do they? 🙂

    I do, however, LOVE my Apple products! But that’s because they work for me, not because they’re the best thing ever…

    Reply

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