The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Explaining Something By Explaining Nothing …
April 22, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So I saw the above sign in a bathroom in Shanghai a few weeks ago.

I can let them off for such a ridiculous statement because after all, English is not the native language.

Sure, you could argue that they could have got a proper translator in, but as I’ve said in the past, China makes more of an effort to welcome foreigners to its country than other countries do to make Chinese visitors welcome in there’s.

But that’s not the point, because as daft as that sign may read, I’ve seen far worse in the West.

From Marks & Spencer’s saying ‘Caution, This Bread And Butter Pudding Will Be Hot After Heating’ to Sears pointing out that hairdryers ‘Should Not Be Used When Sleeping’ … I see ridiculous amounts of superfluous and meaningless notifications being banded about and at least in the case of the China example, they were trying to be of some value to their audience.

Of course the reason behind the examples I’ve given is because lawyers were involved … where treating people as idiots is the best form of defence, which ultimately is the best evidence of what a brand really thinks of their customers irrespective of what their advertising may tell you.

Remember that next time you pick up some Sainsbury’s peanuts and it say’s:

WARNING: Contains nuts.

20 Comments so far
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Clear promotion is key. I’d even go so far as to say it is akin to the premier ship that navigates one’s route away from the forest of underachievement.

Comment by John

Yes John … congratulations. Let’s hope you don’t beat Derby to the lowest number of points ever achieved in the Premiership. No seriously, I really hope you don’t … I hate Derby.

BTW, after a 13 game ‘slip up’, we’ve won the last 2 on the trot [including planner favourite, Leeds Utd] so we are only 1 point from the playoffs so we might be joining you in the promised land.

Oh who am I kidding …

Comment by Rob

It’s amazing how excited you can be about failure.

Comment by DH

After trying to work out what John is trying to say in his comment, the “contains nuts” warning should be the disclaimer for this blog.

Comment by DH

I think it’s an abstract football/soccer reference, but I could be wrong. John?

Comment by Pete

So Robert’s team failed? Isn’t that their normal result?

Comment by Pete

No we haven’t Pete. We still have 3 or 4 games to go before until we can say we have officially failed.


Comment by Rob

Or “beware, contains toxic material that can damage your health. Notably, your brain cells.”

Comment by DH

That could be aimed at both the blog author or the blog commentators.

Comment by Rob

I hadn’t thought of legal disclaimers as inferring the level of intelligence a brand believes represents their customers. I doubt they thought of it that way either but now I have that in my head, it makes me want to read the small print on the packaging and determine if the brand believes I’m a moron for purchasing it.

Comment by Pete

Fortunately for me, Queen albums and Classic Rock magazine don’t come with ‘idiocy warnings’ so I can carrying on living in my delusional bubble.

Comment by Rob

Serious question (I know, what am I doing) but do you think China really makes more of an effort to appeal to Westerners than vice versa?

Comment by Bazza

God yes, are you insane? Even in lower tier cities there’s more willingness to help foreigners than in Western markets. Unless you’re French. Or Japanese. Boom Tish.

Comment by Rob

But seriously, I want to know why/how you can ask that question. You need to come back here and see for yourself.

Comment by Rob

It was only a question. I won’t make that mistake again.

Comment by Bazza

2/1 you will.

Comment by DH

Are they “treating people as idiots” or “treating people as the treacherous litigious shifty money-grabbing bastards that they are”?

It is a fine line, admittedly.

Comment by Shackleford Hurtmore

Trust me, it’s idiots. Unless they’re American and then they are treacherous litigious shifty money-grabbing bastards … but to be fair, that’s what the lawyers helped create too.

I am a big believer in law, but not the sort of dumb-down, ambulance chasing that passes for so much of it these days.

Comment by Rob

Shackleford could be talking about advertising agencies and you could be talking about planners.

Comment by George

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