unintended ads

Think Before You Speak

BuisnessWeek -
JANUARY 11, 2008 Sales & Marketing By Steve McKee Advertising: Think Before You Speak

"Just as your funny bumper sticker might offend the guy behind you, your ad may not be saying what you want the target audience to hear."

The main thesis of this article is that advertisers should think about how their target audiance will react to the content of their adverts. Your customers might not appreciate the funny side of your ad. Hence, the need to have effective advertising without the risk of antagonising or annoying your customers. McKee gives a few example companies who are good at avoiding this pitfall.

This topic ties well with Levitt and Debnam's law of unintended conseques which they write about in the New York Times (January 20, 2008, New York Times); these are the authors who also wrote Freakonomics. In other words, advertising campaignes can easily have unintended consequences.

From the language point of view, advertising also relies on language and therefore language can have unintended consequences as much as the other componrnts of communication; music, images, media used.

But if communication is to manipulate other systems /see Richard Dwakins on this/ surely there is an unpredictable element if the law of unintended consequences which applies to language. Does this also imply that the meaning of a language proposition has an unpredictable semantic element as well? Thus meaning = accepted meaning plus unintended consequences.

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Might edit this later

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