Ditech’s “People Are Smart” Commercial Was A Smart Move

Take a look around some Web fora or blogs, or just listen to people talk for a short period of time and you’ll notice a lot of people calling other people stupid. Politicians and celebrities are the usual targets, knocked around by everyone.

Celebrities call politicians stupid on a regular basis. Well, at least the politicians they disagree with. Students call their teachers stupid, and behind closed doors teachers talk about the dumbing down of the student population. Get any two kids together and they’ll end up talking about how stupid some other kid is. Get two webmasters, SEMs or SEOs together and they’ll start talking about how stupid ‘the average surfer’ is.

So it is pretty much a given that no matter how smart you think you are, someone, somewhere thinks you’re stupid. So along comes Ditech and starts telling people that they’re smart. And that makes people feel good about themselves and people that feel good about themselves are much more likely to listen to the message than if you make them feel stupid.

So the next time you have a message to communicate, try making your recipients feel better about themselves. Try it out in your next blog post or your next bit of sales copy. Let me know if you think it was a smart choice.

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  1. After reading your post, I feel that a man is going to die as stupid fellow. because everytime there would be someone who feels that we’re stupid

  2. James

    No I disagree, not only is it such a broad statement that it’s somewhat nonsensical, but it’s also somewhat insulting. Their product, and the rest of the ad, is no consistent with telling you that you’re smart. All they’re saying is “we have a low interest rate”.

    If you’re going to speak so generally, as this commercial does, you should probably say “people are a whole lot less rational and smart about their money decisions than they ought to be”.

  3. DG

    >>people are a whole lot less rational and smart about their money decisions than they ought to be”

    Not very catchy is it? ; )

    Almost every commercial has an inane element in it.

    >>All they’re saying is “we have a low interest rate”.

    And smart people want low interest rates. At least they’re not implying that if you drink a Pepsi the opposite sex will fall at your feet.

  4. Lori

    I am not sure if we all saw the same commercial. The one I am referring to is the magician one. I cannot STAND that commercial! While I think the general idea is rather cute, everytime I see this commercial I cringe. In the commercial they are talking about how some companies play tricks with customers like a magician… yadda yadda…the part that gets me is they feel the need to define what an illusionist is!! I think the line is something like “an illusionist, which is just a fancy word for magician.” If Ditech really thought I was smart they wouldn’t have to define illusionist.

  5. As someone that have worked for almost 10 years as a Creative copywriter, I know that is the way to go (make people feel better about them). Still, I hate the commercial. I feel that you are right in the sense that because people have in fact demonstrated how stupid they can be (backing up Bush and the Irak war are just 2 very easy examples) they need more than ever to hear that they are not stupid but smart.

    But the fact still remains the same. We as a group we are not getting smarter. We have smarter machines and tools and in the process we are becoming more stupid than ever. And that is why I hate the commercial… I don’t like ads that blatantly lie.

  6. DG

    >>they feel the need to define what an illusionist is!

    The first thing I thought of when I heard that was that they were taking a jab at an old magician named Doug Henning. He dressed like a Hollywood hippie and was famous for saying, “It’s not magic, it’s an eeeloooosioooon”. ; )

    >smarter

    If people hear things three times, they tend to think it’s the truth. Regardless of their intelligence, people simply won’t admit that they might be dumb. Much like no one will ever admit they are a poor driver, it’s always the other guy.

  7. You are smart. Or I am. Or maybe we can agree that we both are. But most of us we will agree that “people” are not smart.

    You can see my whole explanation of why this commercial really sucks at:

    http://www.uglydoggy.com/2007/08/people-are-not-smart.html

  8. Edward

    Besides this commercial being absolutely annoying, it’s also disingenuous. The loan they are pushing is for suckers: interest only for the first ten years; and with no negative amortization – excuse me while I jump for joy. What happens after ten years, and how many people will go into foreclosure (without any equity)? Yeah, this loan is for smart people. As it is, foreclosures are up almost 90% from this time last year, and anyone who has been following the market knows this is contributing to the current credit crunch that’s playing havoc on Wall Street. Good job guys.

    As far as people being smart, just look at some of the posts on this page, like Sandra the brainiac copywriter. With the eloquent grammar of a veteran copywriter, Sandra confidently presumes those who disagree with her political assertions must in fact be “stupid” by default, and therefore evidence that people are not smart.

    Oh the irony.

  9. Mr. Incredulous

    I hate these condescending, unscrupulous “bottom of the barrel” sales pitches. What they’re really saying is that there are three kinds of people in this country; a few smart ones, a lot of stupid ones and a significant pile of scumbags. And that they are the scumbags still trying to sell rip-off no interest, fifty-year mortgages to the majority of stupid ones who now think somebody cares. Is there no limit to the imagination of so called marketing experts? What a career choice.

  10. Peeh

    Yes. People are smart.
    Wait. WTF? A mortgage company?
    What does smart have to do with
    a mortgage. Also, what is with the
    group subject? Are they saying I
    am smart, you are smart?

    The worst. Ever.

  11. Johnnyboy

    “People are smart.” I’m sure many Di-tech customers will feel smart when their house is foreclosed on in ten years when their interest rates on their 50-year mortgage jump through the roof. Their campaign should be “People are Jerks” and they should be referring to themselves.

  12. Pviddy2007

    This is a horrible commercial and bugs me every time I hear it. If people are so smart why did so many people make horrible decisions with their mortgage choices the past few years? People are NOT SMART when it comes to mortgages. In fact, there have been plenty of studies done that show that many people don’t even have any idea about what sort of loans they have, what the terms are, what sort of penalties they agreed to and the like. Does Ditech think flattering people will get them to use their services? Lame.

  13. William

    Why in the world would a company use a “cutsie” cartoon commercial to try to sell me a loan? People expect a level of professionalism and trust from a financial istitution, and this isn’t just a $100 passbook savings account, it’s a 500K loan.

    If “People are Smart” they would do the research and would realize that their Credit Union or major bank probably has better rates than Ditech. I heard something about packaging a credit card and home equity on one commercial.. Smart people don’t use their house as a bank account, especially in a market that is pulling back. Smart companies are responsible and would not encourage people to make bad moves.

  14. Bear

    The DiTech “People Are Smart” commercial is as irritating as it is condescending and insulting. People are obviously not that smart or they wouldn’t be in the subprime mess they’re in. Actually, people who go for these stupid cable TV commericals are dumber than a box of rocks.

  15. DG

    Exactly how far do you think they would get with a commercial telling people that they “are dumber than a box of rocks”?

    The commercial is no more disingenuous than the ‘Smiling Bob” commercials.

    It’s not a question of whether people are in fact smart, but whether telling people they are smart is a smart marketing move.

  16. Marc

    I am with Lori. The commercials make me cringe. Especially the crap about the illusionist…WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH INTEREST RATES!?! The way they say PEOPLE ARE SMART over and over convinces me that they really beieve otherwise. If they something enough you will belive it…..and buy what they have to sell too of course. Like the Geico commercials I switch channels the moment they come on.

  17. Ron Q

    This commercial only panders to people who actually AREN’T smart. It is repellent to anyone intelligent enough to actually understand the nuances of the comment. As other stated; their product campaign has nothing to do with being intelligent. It’s just like saying “Hi – I don’t know you but I’ll give all of humanity a meaningless compliment and hope you’ll feel so good about it, despite being unsubstantiated, that you’ll buy from us”.

    I just love how they say “people are smart…” then yammer on about how people need to call them to get out of their adjustable rate loans.

    Uh… if people were smart, why do they STILL have adjustable rate loans? Only idiots wouldn’t have already refinanced if they had ANY possibility to do so…

  18. joe nuneman

    Advertisers count on dumb, ignorant’ brainless people to fall for their bullshit. Ditech did the “people are smart” bullshit because they figured that dumb people would fall for that crap. In truth, now matter what these scumbag advertisers say in their commercials, what they are really saying is “WE WANT YOUR FUCK’N MONEY”.

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