Dumbing Down is Just Stupid

May 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of my clients talk about dumbing down their message for an advertising campaign.  They cite that newspapers are written for a 4th grade reading level and use that as proof that the public is not sophisticated enough to comprehend what their trying to say.  My response: It’s extremely short-sighted to think your consumers are idiots.

Consumers are not stupid, but they are short on time and low on patience.  Constant media exposure has forced consumers to tune out a lot of advertising and only focus on what is relevant or what catches their attention.  This doesn’t mean that your advertising can’t be clever, but it does need to be quick.  Advertising that simply dumbs down their message to make it quick are often not engaging consumers and thus get tuned out with the rest of the junk being flashed in front of our faces.  On the other hand, advertising that distills their message to communicate a core benefit in an interesting way, stays with consumers for longer.


Example of Quick & Clever Advertising

Example of Quick & Clever Advertising

One of my all-time favorite ads uses media and message in a clever and quick way .


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