Archive for September 2009

Worlds Greatest Guitarist

I am constantly amazed by how people, myself included, occasionally over exaggerate. It’s pretty common in normal speech but it seems to be almost required in marketing material. Words like Greatest, Biggest, Most Effective, Fastest, Fluffiest, Zestiest, etc… I sometimes wonder how people come up with this stuff. For example, I ran across this video on utube:

Best Guitar Improvisation Ever

Entertaining no doubt, but “Best Guitar Improvisation Ever”???

Who voted on that? Were professionals allowed to compete, like say Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Buckethead, Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Clark, Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Andres Segovia,  …  ? (sorry if I left off you’re favorite, but you get the idea)

Some of it is shameless self promotion, but I blame most of this stuff on marketing guys. I don’t hold it against them, they have to make a living too. But they do a couple of things that amuse me.

  1. They make the previously mentioned exaggerated claims.
  2. They make up official sounding statistics to support their exaggerated claims.
  3. They write their own quotes (and attribute them to people that they wish had said them).
  4. They are obsessed with “look and feel” stuff (“It’s more important to look good, than to feel good”).

Let’s begin with bullet number one (exaggerated claims):

Here’s a couple of outrageous claims I ran across (names altered or withheld to protect the guilty).

  • “Joe and Bill are recognized as the two best-selling Oracle Authors in the world.  With combined authorship of over 25 books, Joe & Bill are the two most respected Oracle authorities on the planet.  For the first time ever, Joe & Bill combine their talents in this exceptional handbook.”

  • Did you know that there’s a way to burn 3 to 15 pounds of fat PERMANENTLY and SAFELY . . . WHILE YOU SLEEP?! 100% Guaranteed!
  • “Because you haven’t just found people who know a little bit about what you’re going through – you’ve found the undisputed heavyweight Oracle experts.”

That last one was bad enough without emphasizing the outrageous claim by using a bold font. And just to show I’m not playing favorites, that one is from the web site of the company I work for!

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