Lately I’ve been especially irritated by one particular aspect of much of the advertising copy in the music-gear world: the tendency to take a good product, with perfectly legitimate good features, and make it disgusting by advertising false or misleading features instead. This is probably prevalent in other fields too, like cameras and cars, but I don’t pay attention to them as much.
One example is instrument cables. You’ve seen my post about “snake oil” claims, and you may have seen me ranting on this subject over on TheGearPage; but what really bothers me, more than the falseness of their claims, is that the cables usually have legitimate good merits—so why not focus on those in the ad copy? Why not say “our cable has extra rugged construction, great flexibility, heavy-duty plugs with extra strain relief, and beefy solder joints” instead of all that nonsense about fat wires for bass and thin wires for treble, or “time aligned” signal transfer, or transmission-line theory applied to non transmission line cables. Why lie when you have perfectly good truth to tell?
Evidence Audio is a perfect example of this. Their “Lyric HG” is actually one of the best-quality cables on the market, with excellent real, measurable performance. Yet the Evidence website and marketing materials are drenched in utterly irredeemable bullshit. Not just hyperbole, but outright lies, weasely misinterpretations of “science”, and tonal claims that are nothing but fantasy.
Another case is the Tech21 “1969” amp head, about which my TalkBass acquaintances will have seen me arguing already. The amp is probably really good—it has many fine qualities, well worth advertising. But they decided to crap all over it by making ridiculous claims about “analog wattage” versus “digital wattage”, and asserting that because their amp is analog, therefore it works like an all-tube amp, and making a big deal about how “digital” amps have limiters because they sound bad when clipped… ignoring the fact that most analog solid-state amps also have limiters, for the exact same reason. And ignoring the fact that most so-called “digital” amps are analog but with a switch-mode power supply… They could have just said “our amp sounds awesome when driven into clipping, just like an all-tube amp, unlike most other solid-state heads”. This is a great selling point, a real desirable feature, and it could plausibly be true. Why all the misleading sleazery instead?
I’m sure I’ll think of more examples later, and expand on this post. Bottom line though, copy writers: stick with the legitimate good qualities of your product—your customers will respect you for it.