Scene in the City: Open 25 Hours
Since I came back to the Philippines, I’ve seen more than a handful of restaurants around and outside the city that claim to be “Open 25 Hours.” While it appears to be GoodAh!!!‘s motto, I have seen it on mom ‘n’ pop type carinderias along the way to the provinces as well.
I don’t get it. Does this mean to say that they are open 25 hours a day? While obviously breaking the laws of science, I also fail to see how this can work with people. Most people are quite aware that there are only 24 hours in a day, especially those of us who have had to live with deadlines or lack a decent night’s sleep. So, how does one successfully get away with advertising something so blatantly false and contrary from common knowledge?
It reminds me of how, just this morning, I was reading the side of my Langers Cranberry Grape juice bottle (as you do), and found myself won over by the charming tale of how the owners of the company grew up drinking and tasting fresh juice squeezed from “firm, juicy cranberries” by their dad, the “head juicer”, while the owners were his “official tasters”. When I switched to the other side of the juice bottle, I was very disappointed to find out that my delicious and “fresh” Cranberry Grape juice was only 27% juice and contained high fructose corn syrup. I continued to feel disappointed as I gulped down the rest of my glass and poured myself another to drink with my brand new pile of lady pills. I mean, really, if they were going to lie — badly, at that — they should have just completed the circle and sold me a crappy product. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt as bad for adding to my already chemical-ridden body.
I guess this goes to show that it doesn’t really matter what you say in your advertising, as long as it gets people to buy your product. This is no longer about how good your product is, but how well you are able to spin it nicely enough to catch people’s attention. After all, we are living in a time where a series of insurance commercials featuring cavemen can be turned into a TV sitcom. It looks like counter-intuitiveness is the way to go.
Perhaps NGOs could pick up a few lessons from the private sector. No more need to air commercials with images of rail-thin, disease-ridden, starving children in far away countries. We can stop pretending people care when they attend worldwide concerts centered around giving aid to Africa. Instead, I propose they utilize new, sexy slogans that have absolutely nothing to do with their causes, but, at the same time, promote them with their paradoxical catchiness. I already have a few ideas of my own: “I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie — Join National Action Against Obesity!” or “Open 25 Hours! — The Minuteman Project.”