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Be Careful with Hype
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Hype is a dangerous tool that marketers and our media cousins like to use way too often, way too quickly. It is important to use such tools at the right time, or face customers who may not be too happy.

The mot-hyped event right now is the Super Bowl. Two good teams. A great offense versus a great defense. A legendary quarterback versus the "Legion of Boom."

Truly, it does match up to be a good game.

And the advertising component is equally as hyped up: $4 mil per 30 seconds. New brands and indie agencies are making appearances. Should we call this one of the more exciting moments on TV?

We're not sure.

When we hype things up, we are attempting to artificially increase the demand of a good or service, with the hopes that the actual good or service will either meet or exceed the hype.

Those are dangerous waters to be treading.

If the customer increases their demand level because of the hype and we match it, will they buy more? Would they have been as satisfied if their expectations hadn't been raised? Who knows?

And what if the hype does its job but the kitchen does not, making the consumer very disappointed in the outing? Disillusionment with consumers can happen very quickly in this saturated world. That is important to know.

Can hype be good in certain situations? Absolutely. In places where extreme fans of brands congregate, creating hype is a great thing. Places and brands that have a strong culture bond are strong contenders, too.

We are in the game of not only communicating what businesses have for consumers, but also managing expectations. Turning down the notch of the hyperbole advertising and messaging is a step our whole industry could think about.

Of course, it is only a suggestion.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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