The Negotiator Magazine

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They ran a whole series of ads. that said, "This car is ugly, it looks like a bug-a beetle." "This car is slow-you'll be lucky if you ever get a ticket." The results were phenomenal. People loved the campaign, and sales shot up.

The truth, simple pristine truth, is an astounding force. Doyle, Dane went on to use the same principle with Avis rental cars. In a world where everyone was scrambling for some excuse to say they were the biggest and the best, the new Avis campaign proudly shouted "We're number two!" And followed it up with the sub line, "So we try harder."

It had an interesting affect on the employees of Avis and the number one company, Hertz. A survey showed that the Avis employees really were trying harder, but the Hertz people were taking it easy on Avis. Even they were sympathetic to Avis' underdog positioning!

These two campaigns revolutionized American advertising. They were startling in their impact. Everybody was running around Madison Avenue saying, "Why don't we try a Doyle, Dane ad." Meaning, "Why don't we try telling the truth?" Nobody had ever pointed out the disadvantages of the product before. Nobody had ever paid millions to let the public know that the competition was more successful.

Telling the truth, even when it hurts, is an astounding force.


Many years ago, Benson and Hedges came out with a campaign for their new long cigarettes that bluntly stated, "Oh the disadvantages!" Mary Wells, at the ad agency, showed scenes of people smoking in elevators and getting their cigarette caught in the door; and other tongue in cheek situations where a long cigarette would be a disadvantage.

These advertising people had touched on a very important key to persuasion. If you point out the disadvantages, it makes everything else you say much more believable. Research has shown that there are four sound reasons for also presenting the other side of the argument:

1) It makes the other side believe that you have objectivity.
2) It flatters the listener that you believe them intelligent enough to be aware of the disadvantages, and still be persuaded in favor of your proposal.
3) It forces you to anticipate objections, and rehearse counter arguments. And…
4) It gives credibility to everything else you say.

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