How many times have you heard a company say that nine out of 10 doctors agree you should buy what they’re selling? It’s a trope that has existed since the early days of marketing and advertising. Differentiation became important when producers began competing and advertisers made the switch from saying “you need to buy soap” to “you need to buy a particular brand of soap.” Lending an expert’s credibility to a brand can be a key element of differentiation for any communications plan.
How is it possible to maintain credibility in a world increasingly filled with skepticism?
“More doctors smoke CAMELS than any other cigarette,” the advertisement claims. Looking at ads from the past can be startling, but they also demonstrate how third-party validation has evolved over the years. What was once “more” soon became “four out of five.” In an episode of Friends, after Rachel asks Chandler to guess what, he exclaims, “The fifth dentist caved and now they’re all recommending Trident?!” Chandler isn’t the only one poking fun at this advertising idiom – now ads themselves sometimes mock the idea by speculating what could have happened to that stand alone dentist.