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The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts by Matthew Willcox

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Preface

In my first proper job as a trainee at an advertising agency in London, one of my tasks was to spend hours looking at video of toothpaste advertising from around the world. I studied and analyzed every copy claim, diagram, and tagline. Decades later, I still find myself involuntarily whistling a couple of bars from a jingle for Pepsodent or Aquafresh.

One consistent technique in the toothpaste ads was the use of spokespeople, normally men with gray-flecked hair and steel-rimmed spectacles, wearing a white lab coat, who, while reeking of apparent authority would say, “I am not a dentist, but....”1

1 This approach reached either a zenith or a nadir in 1986 in an advertisement for Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup that used Peter Bergman, the ...

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