This Coupon Is a Perfect Example of How NOT to Advertise

By: Stephanie Tuesday August 21, 2018 comments Tags: Marketing, Copywriting, Lead attraction, Client attraction

If you get coupons in your mailbox, you might have seen this one recently:


Beyond Meat adImage credit:

If you're anything like my family and I, your reaction was probably something like this:

"Ummm, what? What's beyond meat?"

"Something unexpected? What would I not expect to have in a burger? If I don't expect it to be in the burger, I probably don't WANT it to be in the burger."

"Are they seriously advertising the fact that they're being dodgy about what's in their burger?"

"It's human meat, isn't it?"

"Frell me, they're cannibals!"

While those last two were spoken in jest, the fact remained that none of us knew what they were trying to advertise, and we weren't exactly tempted to find out.

In its focus on using a clever play on words, the front of this coupon fails to mention that the burger is made of plants. Instead of inspiring desire, it invoked a reflexive response of "this is a pretty way of being evasive about your ingredients, isn't it?"

If I'd looked over the rest of the coupon, maybe I'd have learned that it was a plant-based burger. I should've done that before we put it in the recycling - oops! But the fact that I didn't bother to look should tell you what kind of impression the front of the coupon made.

In my search for images of the coupon I forgot to photograph, I stumbled upon another advertisement for the same burger:


Now here's an advertisement that tells me what I need to know. It tells me the patty is plant-based, so I know it isn't some sort of weird (maybe human-based? :P ) mystery meat, and it gives me some solid reasons to choose it over a couple meat alternatives. Granted, it doesn't mention the taste, which is a slight downside, but at least I know what kind of product they're talking about.

As I mentioned in a recent blog post on the subject, it's important to make to give your customers enough information that they can tell what your product is and what it will do for them. Clever wordplay and information about your quality are good additions, but they aren't substitutes for these fundamental ingredients!

Sure, there are some people who will probably check out the Beyond Meat burger based on their confusing mystery meat coupon. But there are also some, like me, who just can't be bothered to spend their time investigating vague claims when we can't even tell what kind of product the ad is talking about.

If in doubt, I recommend erring on the side of telling your customers about the benefits they want, and helping them to make an informed decision about your product.

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About the Author: Stephanie

Stephanie is a writer and coaching program design specialist. She helps coaches to design lucrative and life-changing group programs, so they can help more people, make more money, and have more time freedom.