Critical Thinking Session

When you feel you were lightly fooled by an advertisement

   Advertisement is good, when used on a good will. It is a useful way to reach new customers when you need to step up your business. It can renew and update your image and get to previous customers who stopped coming to your place. When you need to tell your opinion openly to the public, it works as a megaphone that amplifies your voice.


    On the other hand, advertisement can be harmful in some cases. There are ways to give damage to your enemy's reputation, called a negative campaign, to justify your actions and get supports from the general public. Buzzed wrong rumors on social medias can equally be destructive. When it is out there, random people start bashing without knowing the consequence of their collective actions.


    Okay, so now, we know that advertisement can go either right or wrong based on the advertiser's good will or bad intention, but what about things in between?


    As a consumer, just as all of you also have, I have experienced a lot of disappointments caused by ads.


    Most recent case being my trip to Sendai. I read in some articles that Serinabe, Japanese parsely hotpot, is a thing to try in Sendai. The photo showed a lot of duck meat around the mounted parsely, and it looked pretty charming visually! The article said that the menu was made by the famous female owner of a very popular restaurant in Sendai in collaboration with Seri farmers to promote the local product. Some source said that the restaurant owner goes to the farm every morning and pick up the herb by hand, which sounded pretty elaborate and heart-warming. Sadly enough, we couldn't book the restaurant that evening, so we picked an alternative one with equally rated high as the original one. 


    With pounding heart, we walked into the place, and we were seated at the counter seats. We wanted to just try the hotpot, so we didn't much order anything else. After ten minutes or so, a portable gas stove was brought to the table. Soon after that, a shiny large pot with its lid was placed on top, and the spread dish with only that paresely and two pieces of fu, wheat bran, arrived in front of us. At this point, I was still expecting a spectacle I deserve for the long trip and the price I would pay for the menu. Yes, I haven't seen the duck meat yet!


    However, after they started heating the pot, nobody attended us or tell us when we can start eating. When the soup started to boil hard as to kick up the lid and splash the table, we noticed that maybe we should do something ourselves. So we opened the lid, and there I saw tiny pieces of duck meat or chicken meat swirling in the soup. I was disheartened a little, but kept myself tied to a glimpse of hope, or what else should I do? When we put the parsely in the soup, it did not look pretty. The taste was okay, but it was nothing better than Kamo Soba. Furthermore, we couldn't tell if it was duck or chicken, because they had already lost their shapes.


     Maybe I just went to a wrong place. And I'm sure that the original restaurant could offer me a much better experience if I did dine at their place. However, the ad was not about the restaurant but the upcoming hotpot itself. After all, to me, the hotpot described in the ad was much more attractive than the real one. And for that, I wouldn't plan a tour to Sendai to enjoy eating the hotpot. Sometimes, ads mislead us, too!


Share your experience where you got disappointed with the gap between the ad and the real service.