Balanced Banner

I notice banner ads a lot more now that I’m in the display advertising industry.

Most banner ads are annoying, some are clever – and others are tricky. 

Notice the tagline from this McDonald’s ad: “Happy Meal: the perfect balance of fun and deliciousness.”

Usually “balance” denotes that there are two different ideas that you wouldn’t expect to appear together. However, fun and deliciousness usually go together. Ice cream is fun and delicious. If ice cream were fun and healthy, or delicious and healthy – that would be news.

By using the word “balance,” the ad tricks your mind into thinking that McDonald’s is saying that their food is a balance of fun and healthiness. That wouldn’t be true so they don’t make that claim. But if you read the ad quickly, it’s easy to think that they did.

What a Jedi mind trick.

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