Monday, August 25, 2014

Creative License Revocation: Calling Shenanigans on 21st Century Snake-Oil Salesmen

And for a limited time, we'll throw in our
Unlimited Gravity Guarantee. If your
diamonds ever float off into space, we'll
replace them FREE!
The Internet has not been kind to snake-oil salesmen. Today, you can debunk claims that seem too good to be true with just a few keystrokes. Still, the chicanery persists. Marketers have just gotten a little more creative.
Zales guarantees their diamonds "for life," which is a pretty safe bet since diamonds are the most durable gemstones on the planet, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs Scale.
"Hold still, knucklehead, or I won't get an accurate reading!"
"Hold still, knucklehead, or I won't get an accurate reading!"
Dawn promised to donate $1 to wildlife conservation groups with every bottle of Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Detergent sold ... after you log on to their site and register the code found on the bottle ... where you will see that they're already reached their goal, thanks to "Everyday Wildlife Champions like you." (Do you suppose they meant "every-day"?)
But if you try again later, you'll learn that "There was a small glitch with our website that falsely announced that we had reached our goal last month," so you can go ahead and register that bottle after all. Oh, and we've upped the donation limit to $1 million, so we're cool now, right?
It's worth a visit to the site to become a "virtual volunteer" to see how they rescue oil-coated baby ducks, which in this case looks a lot more like Hershey's syrup.
I'll be posting more Interactive-Age Chicanery in days to come, but until then, I'd love to hear from you. What "creative" marketing tactics have got you calling shenanigans?

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