Buy me! Buy me!

A recent conversation at work on advertising and marketing ploys started me thinking: what are the cleverest (or at least sneakiest) tactics you’ve seen used to sell?

My personal favourites…

  1. Any “Lite” brand sold on the old “20% fat free” tactic. My dad is a food research scientist, and he finds it amazing how many people see the “20% less” and don’t wonder how fatty it was in the first place (and therefore how little difference 20% makes).

  2. The (possibly mythical) tale of the man who approached a toothpaste manufacturer and guaranteed to double their profits in one year. He was so sure of his method he didn’t ask for any payment but only for half of the additional profits they made in the first year. His method? Double the size of the nozzle on the tubes.

Sheer class.

This space for hire.

I hate the big bag/no chips ploy!

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

Any and all fitness gadgets. They always show some huge, buff dude, and they make it seem like he got that way solely by using the particular product.

“Now, Bart, you don’t want to drink beer. That’s for daddies and kids with fake IDs.”

Dehydrated Water!! All you have to do is add water! Ahh!! Y2K, I’m ready!!
–Wait a second, this isn’t right…

I read somwhere that Coca-Cola is researching a technology that would increase the price on soda machines when the temperature rose.

I’d rant about it and call them evil corporate bastards, but after I considered it for a minute, I thought, “Hey, I’d do it.”

MattK, your dad must nearly pop an artery when he sees sugary candy advertised as “A fat-free food !”

The most effective salesmanship I’ve seen lately is at The Men’s Wearhouse. Say what you want about George Zimmer’s cheesy advertising, those guys are undisputed masters of the up-sell.

I walked in wanting a grey sportcoat. I walked out with that grey sportcoat, a pair of wool slacks, a shirt and a tie. They do a fantastic job of bringing stuff that actually looks good together and putting it on you and… well, “you like the way you look.” That way they can sell the whole outfit and you go away happier.

It’s proof that I’m an easy mark that I went back the next week to pick up the tailoring and ended up buying a new tuxedo. Damn, gonna have to go to better parties.

“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive”
Bruce Springsteen

metroshane, I totally agree…I made a fool of myself last week by saying “Big Grab, my ass!” when I bought a bag and it had about twelve chips in it.

Very interesting topic, mattk.

Can’t say I like your sig, though. :slight_smile:

This space for rent.

I think the best salesmenship that I’ve seen lately is at any store that has employees larger than I am. They look at me, and me, being the wimp I am, get scared and think “Agh! Must buy, must buy!” Or maybe that’s why they wear the little glasses with the twirly design things… hmmm…