For companies, the success of a product is measured by the sales. At the end of the day, that is the only parameter that matters. So, in order to achieve high sales, brands sometimes resort to marketing tactics that offer a deceptive image of the product, but the marketing is so strong that the consumer is easily convinced. We bring you 10 such myths companies started to sell more products.
1. Myth: Ivory soaps are so pure that they float.
Fact: The soap mixture contains air that makes them float. It has nothing to do with purity.
Ivory is one of the most popular soap brands in the world. Most of us know it as the brand that makes floating soaps. They have repeatedly claimed that their soap is 99.44% pure, and its immense purity makes it float.
But purity has nothing to do with the ability of the Ivory soaps to float. What happens is that during the production of the soap, measures are taken to ensure that air is inserted into the soap mixture. When the final product is ready, it consists of tiny air bubbles within it. These air bubbles work together to make the soap slightly less dense than water which, in turn, makes the soap float. This also serves another purpose of producing more bubbly lather. Nonetheless, the floating soap advertisement increased sales by a large margin. (1, 2)
2. Myth: Alka-Seltzer instructed consumers to use two tablets instead of one for more efficiency in treatment.
Fact: It was just a step to increase sales. There was no medical evidence provided in the advertisement.
Alka-Seltzer is the tablet that one takes while suffering from acid reflux or indigestion. During the 1960s, Alka-Seltzer was mostly purchased by elderly folks and there were not many buyers from the American youth. The advertisement strategies earlier undertaken by Alka-Seltzer did not appeal to the younger generation. The ads primarily showed elderly people who drank and ate too much and, in turn, suffered from acid reflux.
To stop sales from dwindling, the company hired the Tinker & Partners advertising agency to create new advertisements to attract more buyers. Tinker & Partners created a series of 16 advertisements, one of which just showed two Alka-Seltzer tablets being dropped into a crystal glass of water. The advertisement promoted the use of two Alka-Seltzer tablets rather than one to treat acid reflux. This is where the famous phrase “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz” originated.
3. Myth: Healthy teeth are supposed to be extremely white.
Fact: The whiteness of teeth doesn’t determine their health.
Whenever a mouth hygiene product is promoted, the key emphasis is laid on the whiteness of the teeth. The advertisements primarily imply that whiter the teeth the better health they are in. Most toothpaste brands and mouthwashes stick to this strategy. But is it really important for teeth to be extremely white?
The color of one’s teeth depends on its intrinsic color which is influenced by the person’s age and genes. It also depends on the type of food being consumed and lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, medications, etc. Moreover, as a person gets older, their teeth become yellower as the enamel begins to tear away and the dentine beneath is exposed. So, all those advertisements claiming sparkly white teeth are a sign of health are just marketing stunts. (source)
4. Myth: Nutella products are healthy alternatives.
Fact: Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar per serving. Half the 200 calories in a two-tablespoon serving come from fat.
Nutella is the heartthrob of many foodies. It has been widely marketed as being a “healthy alternative.” This chocolatey, hazelnut spread is the go-to spread on bread for many people. So, it was obvious that being marketed as a healthy and delicious alternative would lead to tremendous sales.
A simple glance at the Nutella label can determine how healthy the product is. The first ingredient that goes into the production of Nutella is sugar, followed by palm oil. One teaspoon of Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar. Moreover, taking just two tablespoons amounts to 200 calories half of which comes from fat. Basically, its the next best thing to consuming a candy bar. (1, 2)
5. Myth: Furbies can “learn” English if they are spoken to in the language.
Fact: They are pre-programmed to speak English after being used for a certain amount of time. They do not “learn” anything, per se.
Furby is a robotic toy that was introduced in the US in 1998. The toy became a must-have for kids. Within just three years, over 40 million Furbies were sold. The primary reason why the Furbies became so famous was their apparent intelligence. When the toys are operated, they speak in a gibberish kind of language. The creators claim that over time, with exposure to more talking with the children, the Furbies develop language skills. Basically, if your kid continues to interact with the toy, it would start speaking in the English language! That was how the product was marketed, and the numbers they achieved in sales are quite impressive!
In reality, the marketing of the Furbies is quite misleading. They do not actually “learn” anything. These toys are pre-programmed to start speaking in English once they have been used for a pre-defined number of times. For example, if they have been turned on for a certain number of times, then they will start saying the word “hello.” Eventually, they will start speaking more English words. But if a Furby bought in the US is taken to China, it does not mean that the toy will start saying “ni-hao.” They have to be pre-programmed to talk in Chinese for such a thing to occur. (1, 2)