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Ask a Stupid Question….

May 16th, 2012 by Bob Bly

A recent headline on read: “Why are teen moms poor?”

Is this a serious question? They’re poor because they are teenagers who have children. Children are expensive, and most teens earn and have little or no money. Mystery solved, right?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at 11:07 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

44 responses about “Ask a Stupid Question….”

  1. M.R. Maguire said:

    The more I learn about copywriting principles, the more amazed I am when I see such poor titles. And from the “big guys,” yet!

    My latest gripe is with Prudential. They have chosen to advertise their retirement services by “telling a story.” We know how powerful stories can be, but for the love of pete… I watched a commercial that lasted almost three minutes and went into excruciating detail how a retiring couple met, how the wife was so cherished by the husband, (“I am so honored that she chose to spend the rest of her life with me…”), and how they didn’t want to be like their fathers who died prematurely before being able to enjoy life in their later years.

    Whew, right?! Meanwhile, I’m sitting there thinking, “Why should I choose Prudential Retirement Services? What are the differentiators from your competition? How will your services benefit me?”

    Gah! I was so frustrated that Icamethisclose to finding who the marketing V.P. was for them and sending a letter. The whole thing was a huge FAIL for me; although granted, I may not be the average consumer. As a woman, I was annoyed by the overly-emotional script and not persuaded.

    Thanks for letting me vent. If such stupid questions and fuzzy commercials are working, then I’m in the minority, for sure.

  2. Kyle Tully said:

    Are they poor because they have babies, or do they have babies because they are poor?

    Gotta keep dem gummit checks commin’.

  3. Elaine said:

    I saw a similar article, I think in the NY Times. The idea was, when girls grow up surrounded by entrenched poverty, they often see no way out. It’s simple to assume that they will say “Gotta get out of this mess and do better than those around me,” go to school, get a job, etc. But what often happens is, what they see all around them says “Nobody else can do it, what makes me think I can?” Your point is about the headline, and you’re right, it’s a deceptive one, leading the reader to the same conclusion you came to (including the ‘duh.’). The headline that drew my attention was worded more like “…may not be what you think.” Headlines like that will almost always pique my curiosity and get me to read more. Worth remembering for us students of marketing.

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