The folks at Nike recently shook up Madison Avenue by changing their corporate slogan from "Just Do It" to "I Can." Marketing experts are now anxiously debating how the switch may help or hurt public opinion.
At least Nike is trying to bring some intelligence to its campaigns. My biggest gripe as I stroll the shopping aisles of America is the insidious proliferation of advertising claims that are unprovable, misleading, or blatantly incorrect.
For example, my usual brand of dog kibble claims to have "Improved Taste/Same Great Nutrition." Improved according to whom? Whose dog did they ask? My canine pal will happily gorge himself on lawn clippings. For him, food is whatever he can swallow, including sweat socks with a Swoosh. There is no comparative analysis involved, and to imply otherwise is disingenuous at best, boneheaded at worst. Another bold proclamation caught my eye when I went to replace a pair of rubber gloves. The brand I usually buy now bears the slogan "New! Completely Redesigned." Last time I looked, the basic design of a glove included four fingers and a thumb, not unlike the basic design of a hand. …