I have a peculiar, and some might say obsessive, curiosity in the medium of advertising, particularly the television variety. I look forward to "We'll be back after these brief messages from our sponsors" with more relish than the average viewer. The dime-a-dozen prescription drug commercials currently Pique my interest the most. The approaches vary from one drug to the next, but most of them adhere to a similar creative, or not-so-creative, script.
First up, the attention-grabbing statistic: A recent survey revealed that irregular or inconsistent blood pressure may lead to an erosion of the right big toenail in men over the age of 59. Left untreated, the big toe could be lost all together.
Next, the pitch: Clinical trials reveal that, in 60 percent of cases, a daily dose of Toe Jam No. 9 can help counter irregular blood pressure, a major cause of toenail loss. Ask your doctor if Toe Jam No. 9 is right for you.
Finally, and this is the part that tickles me, the advertisement concludes with an FDA-enforced disclaimer: In a small number of cases, Toe Jam No. 9 has been known to cause mild side effects including hair loss, nausea, sore throat, dizziness and fainting, shortness of breathe, headache, loss of appetite and a diminished sex drive.
"Mild side effects?" Wouldn't this dose of honesty strike fear into most rational people and discourage anyone from voluntarily ingesting the many actual prescription drugs advertised on our television screens on any given night of the week? Not so. As any doctor will tell you, patients do "ask their doctor," and they do so in droves.
This enforced, tell-it-like-it-is approach to marketing prescription drugs leaves me wondering how different our lives might be if government forced every company to reveal the possible side effects of using its products or services. Imagine. ...
The attention-grabbing statistic: A recent, independently commissioned study showed that organizations without an enterprisewide, e-learning solution were pouring money down the drain on unnecessary travel and time-away-from-the-job costs.
The pitch: HITECHOUTOFABOX.COM's unique and best-in-class approach to enterprisewide e-learning can—in many cases does—reduce learning costs and save organizations in excess of $1 million in the first year alone. Ask one of our many "strategic alliance partners" if HITECHOUTOFABOX is right for your company.
The disclaimer: In an indeterminate number of cases, installing HITECHOUTOFABOX.COM's enterprisewide, e-learning solution has resulted in mild side effects that include fist-fights between HR and IT, system meltdown, spiraling installation costs, incompatibility with legacy content, learner disinterest, diminished credibility of the e-learning champion and, in extreme cases, loss of said champion's job.
And what if companies were forced to divulge data on successful and unsuccessful enterprisewide e-learning installations, such as contact information for customers, both won and lost? What if they were forced to reveal budgeted vs. actual costs of previous "successful" implementations? What if they had to subject their products and services to rigorous testing and acquire a license before taking their solutions to the marketplace? And perhaps as important, what if they were forced to have all marketing and promotional material approved by an industry-appointed watchdog to ensure it was written in plain, easy-to-understand language?
Armed with this knowledge, prospective customers could approach purveyors of technology-based learning solutions with confidence, and the state of confusion, bewilderment and overall discomfort plaguing the e-learning space would likely diminish. WARNING