Why Pay More to Sweat Less

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 31 08:57:28 UTC 2011

There are two conflicting interpretations here. First, you have the
obvious--don't pay more /even/ if you want to sweat less (i.e., our
cheap product provides a perfectly adequate protection). The second, and
the one they were going after--you don't need to pay more to sweat less
(i.e., our cheap product is just as effective as the fancier guys). An
additional fact is that the advertiser appears to be riffing off "Why
pay more for less?" But the semantics of these two slogans do not match
at all. /That/ seems to be the source of confusion--our expectation of
the more common slogan drives us toward the first interpretation rather
than the second. And the first interpretation is obviously contrary to
the intent.


On 10/31/2011 1:15 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> On Oct 30, 2011, at 4:12 PM, David Metevia wrote:
>> http://www.arrid.com/
>> Is is just me or does the question "Why pay more to sweat less?" seem
>> inappropriate for a company selling antiperspirant? I want the result of
>> sweating less to occur for the least amount of money. To me this implies
>> that buying Arrid is cheap, but I may sweat more than if I paid more for
>> some other brand.
> I agree that it's poor advertising copy, but what they are saying is, "You can pay more to sweat less, or you can pay less to sweat less."
> I think the difference is whether you interpret "less" to be relative to other products or less to the amount you are sweating without an antiperspirant.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list