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Telling a good story is at the core of good marketing or branding. But what happens when the story is tongue-in-cheek and the audience doesn't "get it?" Has the average audience become dumber?

When average consumers or business people believe the message and the message or story is bogus -- just for fun -- where does that leave us? Has the intelligence of the average individual changed?
Although these examples aren't marketing messages per se, they do showcase the gullibility of the average person on the street. The first one is from the Canadian Broadcasting Company with comedian Rick Mercer interviewing Americans (including US politicians) about Canada and Canadians.

Hint #1: The prime minister at the time of this taping was Jean Chretien. Poutine is a French Canadian French fry snack with melted cheese on top.
Hint #2: The parliament building of Canada isn't made out of ice.
Hint #3: There are more than two area codes in Canada.
The second is from the UK. Same concept.

I wonder... if this exercise was conducted in other countries with questions about the US, if the results would be similar.
What do you think? Has the average audience gotten dumber?

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Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel