Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Corporate catchphrases. I'm sure you've seen them. Cheery and pithy phrases, supposedly summing up the chewy goodness of the company or the product. Disposable words carefully crafted to leave a positive impression in your mind. Of course, the moment you actually look hard at them, really read them, really grasp the meaning of them, they transform into empty and surreal expressions.
A huge industry is devoted to finding and propagating these bits of fantasy, these deepcore taps into the subconscious.
Let me pull an example up almost at random. Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is a company selling agricultural products, seed and much more. They are also heavily into gene modification and patents on such modified plants. Their tag on the link above is "Resourceful by nature." Note that this phrase is trademarked. I'm not going to dissect the meanings ADM would like you to draw from this tag but look just at the phrase itself. It might be applied to an individual or a species of animal but to a company?
Try this test: look at an ad on TV or in a magazine. Pick out the slogan and try to understand what it really means, particularly in association with the company attached to it. What does "Just do it" have to do with Nike, the footwear manufacturer? What does "Think different" have to do with Apple Computer? Do you want the operating system to "think different"?
I hope to write more on the lies of advertising in the future.