December 05, 2011

Review: Sonic Breathe

Description: A compact humidifier
Main Pitch: "Eliminates dry air that causes sore throats, hacking coughs, bloody noses and inflamed sinuses"
Main Offer: $29.95 for one with carrying case
Bonus: 2nd one with carrying case (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Emson under the "Bell + Howell" brand
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This posting has been corrected. A previous version stated that the Website was down, but it had just moved to a different Web address. (HT: Bob K.)

This commercial features a classic "contrived problem." That is, a problem doesn't really exist, so one is made up. In debates, this is sometimes called a "straw man" argument. You set up a superficial problem and attack it to score points. But the "straw man" here -- humidifiers that are big and bulky -- doesn't score (that is, sell anyone) because people who use humidifiers have been to the store and know they come in all kinds of convenient shapes and sizes.

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