Happy Holidays from Marketing: A Chocolate Box of LIES

You know what frosts my cookies: when what you see isn’t what you get. grrr..

Oh what webs we weave, when marketing to deceive

  • Click bait.
  • Fake out.
  • Bait and switch.
  • Pull the rug.

If there’s one thing we hate more than being disappointed, it’s being tricked.

Thinking something is worth our time, getting excited only to see a tired old post from 2 years ago. Those pandering book jacket blurbs or movie trailer quotes promising one thing, delivering schlock. It’s the holiday exchange gift of a beautifully wrapped package with one of those you have to spend money to ‘save’ money restaurant ‘coupons’ inside.


The other day, I saw what looked like a nice an office gift – a GIGANORMOUS box of chocolate. From a national brand. Only it wasn’t.

It was the basic one pound box of chocolate, disguised to be something much more ‘impressive.’ Seriously this thing was 10 pounds of packaging in a 20 lb. box!

Never mind how environmentally unfriendly to waste that much packaging, it’s the worst fake out. See also: that showy giant check to show a $200 donation; that huge gift basket that’s one small box of crackers, 3 apples and 34 pounds of tinsel straw that makes a big mess.

Be Better, Do Better

This is what I don’t like about [so-called] PR “stunts.” This is what I don’t like about hype and buzz and other forms of marketing bullshit.

This is what grates my cheese about managed ‘thought leader’ personas – there’s no there there. Nothing.

It’s not real. It’s not genuine. It’s an empty shell that unfortunately fools people into thinking they’re legit – making it that harder for the rest of us. I am more than the sum of the lines on my resume, plenty that don’t see – but let me assure you: WYSIWHG. Ahem.

So that’s my holiday rant – yes the wrapping makes it special, festive and fun. But much like a pretty logo won’t fix a brand, it’s what’s inside that pretty ‘package’ that matters most.

Happy Holidays everyone, here’s to no talking fish and easy returns. 🙂

Video credit: a version of that commercial runs on the radio here in Atlanta, cracks me up. 

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