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Advertisements For The Weak-Minded

Do you know what really grinds my gears? The soda industry and their ridiculous advertisements.

Basically, here is the gist of their argument for why we should buy their diet and other non-regular brands of soda (Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi One, etc.):

Diet Soda X has the same great taste as our Regular Soda X but without the sugar and/or calories.

So let me get this straight. Your diet sodas contain zero sugar/calories and yet somehow you are still able to produce the same taste as your soda that does contain sugar/calories? Wow, that's quite an amazing feat. But now I just have one question: why should I ever buy your regular brand of soda? To get fatter? To rot my teeth? It sure looks like you shot yourself in the foot.

Of course those of us with any sort of taste sensitivity know that diet and regular soda do not have the same taste. And thus we are quite aware that soda advertisements that say differently are feeding us lies (Advertising? Lying? WHAT?!). So my question is: why don't soda companies simply tell it the way it is? Why not simply say that consumers have two choices: either choose regular soda which has a stronger–and a generally agreed upon better–taste but comes with the price of some sugar/calories or choose diet soda which has less taste but also less sugar/calories? That way they could (1) avoid people like me who call them out on their fallacious advertising arguments, (2) equally advertise both products (regular and diet) by giving the consumer reasons to purchase both, and (3) remain honest in the process. My guess is that (1) they couldn't care less about ranters like me (2) they can and do equally advertise both products with the help of Mr. Obscurantism and Mr. Subjectivity and (3) they couldn't care less about any form of honesty.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. 08/07/2008 at 7:48 pm

    (1) and (3) i don't think they could care less. (common grammatical error, but don't worry, i won't tell anyone)what in the world kind of interest could they have in truthful advertising over truthful-appearing advertising? the whole point of their business, and hence their advertising, is just to sell their product. it's not to honestly inform the public. i'm all for truth, but i'm also not gullible enough to believe everything i'm told in such a forum.which is sort of a rotten situation. it doesn't really matter that much when it comes to pop (or soda), but it makes it difficult to make decisions about other, more important things. there was a thread on this in WDYB once, wasn't there? (phil got kind of ticked that not many people responded! that's what i remember about it.)

  2. 08/07/2008 at 9:19 pm

    Corrections made. Thanks. ;)And indeed, it is their whole point to sell their product. Which is why I find it ironically amusing that in so advertising their diet product, they are essentially admitting that there is no reason to buy their non-diet product so long as they are, in fact, telling the truth about their diet product (which they aren't). So in one sense, they shoot themselves in the foot by lying. But such subtleties go unnoticed and no one really cares anyways.

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