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Fallacy in Advertising

An exploration of fallacious advertising through the eye of a Geico spokesperson.
by

Hunter McGuire

on 7 October 2010

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Transcript of Fallacy in Advertising

Fallacy In Advertising Fallacy-
The substitution of a chosen conclusion for the strength of a reasonable one, Most usually to further the motives of the fallacy's creator through the dismissal of relevant conclusions, And almost invariably at the expense of the reciever, whose dependancy on truth and reason leads them to assume it is present in all around them, leading ultimately to a descision based upon facts which are very far from relevant. And, just as unavoidably, to the singular benefit of the presentor. It takes little to deduce where we will face this most. It is in advertising that we encounter most of these deadly deceptions- fallacies created not accidentally as most others are but intentionally and maliciously for the benefit of the creator in the simplest manner possible- to force the decieved party into a fiscal arrangement in which only one can win- and certainly not the one with their incomplete rendition of the facts present. Facts which, just as inevitably, Yet at Geico Insurance, we strive to defy this dismal status quo and retain what remains to be the most essential component of conducting a business- serving the consumer whether it be in the sales room or in the years which will follow comfortable in the knowledge that they are served by Geico, an insurance company which not only conducts its business above board but its every component- and from that generalization, advertising is far from forgotten. For advertising, even more than anything else, is how we show people what there is to be found within our corporation, and in no way can this be established by decieving them as to our very nature and the way we conduct business- not only ousting the practice of fallacy but altogether defying it with our forthcoming and truthful depictions of the corporation. Yet not all insurance companies are so forthcoming- it is a common business practice, especially in this industry dependant so heavily on trust, that advertising is riddled with fallacy and deception and fallacy again as these hungry corporations so unlike the honest Geico strive to steal from their customers- and none more so than the insidious ING Direct. It is for this reason that I come before you today, not in the interests of furthering Geico's already tremendous support base, but to warn you away from such a cunning and deceptive creature as that presented by ING Direct through the analysis of its fallacious advertisements in the most effective manner possible: Comparison A look at ING through the eyes of their best alternative Appeal to Emotions Irrelevant Conclusion Group Think Association with only itself for justification- in essence, following an idea for the simple reason that it claims itself to be better upon scant evidence. The use of emotional responses- forever essential to human life yet only when applied to a situation in which they are relevant- as an excuse to forgo reason and support a conclusion which, to all appearances and no doubt all intents, what the viewer wants to see. The use of the facts presented to create a conclusion which entirely defies relation to the case at hand, providing instead a reasonable and acceptable conclusion imperfect only in its irrelevance to the subject. Group Think Irrelevant Conclusion Appeal to Emotions The New Customer-
Uninformed yet still forced into the role of customer Sharpshooter's Fallacy Appeal to Ignorance Taking the end result of an act and considering it to be the intended outcome of the precedent- in essence, the creation of edivence to support a conclusion already formed. The presentation of one's own material as the sole source of reliable data- depending thereby upon the uninformed nature of the client to consume the data therin as their only source of information Affirming the Consequent Simple in nature, this fallacy requires simply a knowledge of the end result and a vested interest in the factors responsible for its creation- and, of course, a simple disregard to other factors so as to assure the relevance of their own ideal. Sharpshooter's Fallacy Appeal to Ignorance Affirming the Consequent Customers with an informed interest in the world and it's workings both from an economic perspective and a personal one, yet requiring knowledge of their options to make an informed descision. Those customers who understand the relationships present in a general sort of way, yet lack the confidence to trust their corporate counterparts in a business relationship Faulty Generalization Irrelevant Reason False Analogy The assumption that, despite being based upon incomplete data, all results will retain a similar nature regardless of whatever the information may be lacking. The translation of a factor from one medium to another despite whatever distinctions the new environment may present. In essence, the culmination of the previous two fallacies- for the instance of a false analogy is little more than a faulty generalization sharply visible and sharply damaging, for by comitting this fallacy of false analogy, one commits themselves to a comparison between two things made similar only in the artistry of the deciever. Faulty Generalization Irrelevant Reason False Analogy Customers who are aware of their circumstance, both in the economy and in life, yet need to be exposed to the possibilities available to them so as to make a proper descision Traditional Wisdom Red Herring False Dilemma The presentation of two variables, usually polar opposites such as success and failure as the only possibilities to be selected, neglecting those middle points where greater variation is made available. The acception of a thing because it is reinforced by the assurance of a powerful authority, often tradition, which demands it to be correct due to the authority's strength as an authority, apparently far too great to be questioned in its assumptions by those asked to take them as truth. One of the most obviously damaging fallacies short of outright deception, the red herring fallacy presents a fact unrelated to the discussion at hand, providing a simple and effective distraction upon whose connections any consideration may be placed so as to dilute analysis of the issue at hand. False Dilemma Red Herring Traditional Wisdom Reasoning with only itself as justification- thereby providing naught but the assumption of reason in the place of reason itself.
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