The line between Smart and False Advertising

1837 TWG TeaThe finest teas of the world” — what comes to your mind when you read this or see the advertising of this brand? For the tea lovers it might be the taste and quality, but considering an individual who’s not very familiar with the brand and views the same for the first time, a general first impression will probably lead people to think the brand is existing since 1837, but last year the same company celebrated its 10th anniversary. Now, can we question the company that established in 2008 on misleading the consumers where they can just state the use of random numbers as their name? No doubt the taste is unmatched, and so is the advertising, but should we call this smart advertising or false advertising?

Generating a superlative idea and being able to drag it to reality is one tough affair. Alongside, creating awareness about the same to the targeted audience such that it leaves an imprint on the minds is a whole other journey. Not just that, advertising could be fairly defined as an imperative source of marketing that eradicates the space between producers and potential consumers in terms of information. In the rat race of today’s business, we have reached the state where the companies, as well as the consumers, need to identify the line between smart and false advertising. Fooling people into believing fallacious details or attempting to use the truth in such a way that it distorts the false into believable, and then charging high prices for the same.

Coming back to 1837 TWG Tea, a lawsuit was filed against them by a tea retailer — Tsit Wing International, which turned out to be in favor of the latter and led TWG tea to change its name in Hong Kong.

On the obvious hand of false claims, taking Olay’s example of Twiggy, a 62-year-old woman with her face all over billboards while re-defining youthful beauty through photoshop. The company photoshopped her face, specifically the area under her eyes to make her look more youthful and portrayed the same as a result of its product. Apart from ensuring photoshop’s credibility, Olay lost its loyal backing of consumers and reputation in the market, leading to a loss of sales.

Instead of hopping on exaggeration and manipulative tactics, an easy and dependable, and ethical way for sure is through changing the entire backdrop of advertising. If one wants to connect with the audience, use an emotional touch rather than false hopes. The best route is through developing an emotional appeal. People often are influenced by their emotions than logic while making a purchase. Once influenced by emotion, they bring their logic to believe that the purchase is worthy. Another similar approach could be concept selling — what unique am I offering to my audience? How do I stand out? Go the extra mile to prove your point, not out of track.

Some best examples of these concepts are drawn beautifully by Tanishq’s ad — A wedding to remember — Double bond where it makes the idea of second marriage comfortable, and Vicks — Generations of Care #TouchofCare, breaking the stereotypes and going beyond taboos.

The ads might slightly comply with the product itself, but because of the weight of the message, they don’t fail to leave an imprint on the minds of the audience, and the best part is, you can’t complain the ads are misleading; instead you might end up tackling your tears for a better reason this time.

Vicks —

Tanishq —




Writer | Artist | Marketer

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Akshita Lomsh

Akshita Lomsh

Writer | Artist | Marketer

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