A Promise is an Infomercial.

Dear Students,
A good ad tells truth.
It is concerned with a fact.
(it doesn’t have to be an informational fact. observations can be the truth)
A bad ad promises.
A promise is a lie because it has not come true.

Example:

BARKLEY’S BUBBLING BUBBLES OF BARIUM WILL WHITEN YOUR LAUNDRY WHITER THAN THE WHITEST SNOW IN SNOWLAND.

Granted, nobody’s going to run a headline like this, but I see variations of this every week in class and the airwaves, websites and magazines are full of the same.

People aren’t moved by a promise.
They know better.
Not only do they know the whitest snow in Snowland isn’t nearly as white as they want their towels and sheets to be because the whitest snow in Snowland still has bug detritus and tire tracks and dirt on it, but more to the point, they know better than to listen to a promise because they’ve all been broken up with when they were in high school by boys and girls who’d promised to love them forever.

The audience knows you’re getting paid to write ads.
Stick to facts.
It doesn’t mean you can’t speak to the strategy statement the clients are in love with.

Example:

SCIENTIST MEASURES: WHITEST SNOW IN SNOWLAND EXACTLY 3.4% LESS WHITE THAN STINKY GOLF TOWELS LAUNDERED IN BARKLEY’S BUBBLING BUBBLES OF BARIUM.

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