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PhotobucketOne should understand that hype is a tool in advertising. I do.  But whether it is ethical to use is altogether another matter.  In various-shades matter, that is.

What some magicians will consider ethical, a number of others may find in poor taste, an exaggeration or outright lie.

That may explain why some magicians in the Philippines fume, or at least raise their eyebrows, at hype in advertising.

One hype that I think is funny, if only it is not borderline case of untruth, is the “International Magician” hype.

PhotobucketI don’t know why many magicians in the Philippines are enamored with it.  I think it has to do with the Filipino’s vaunted colonial mentality, which has developed in his sinews and fiber an exaggerated love of, admiration and respect for anything remotely American or Spanish.

Today, such colonial mentality has evolved into something widespread. Anything foreign is looked up as superior.

To project superiority of performing skill, then, a magician in the Philippines sells himself as an “International Magician.”

PhotobucketAgain, I have no problem with other magicians claiming “international” status.  For all I care, they can claim universal status, like the “best magician in the Milky Way“, or other galaxies, and I won’t give a squeak.

It’s their ad copy. They can put anything in it.  Let them enjoy a good harvest if it increases their sales.  Let them also suffer if it backfires on them.

Filipinos are a peripatetic lot.  That includes Filipino magicians.  Many have performed abroad, for long periods of time, and made a name for themselves.

If they claim they are “international magicians” on the strength that they have performed outside of Philippines’s “national” borders, then by the strict sense of the word, they are “international” performers.

I may not agree with this “strict sense of the word”  argument, but I am aware not everybody is a word maven. I cut them a lot of slack on their attempt at peculiar phraseology. After all, they are just trying to embellish their ad copy.

However, if one is a magician, who happens to go to Hong Kong, does a card trick to a waiter in a fast-food restaurant, can he now claim he is an “international magician” on the strength of having performed in Hong Kong, which is outside the national borders of the Philippines?

“Of course not” is the correct answer, right?

Right. In the natural, hype-less world of magic, it is the correct answer.

But we’re talking about advertising, not the hype-less world of magic. In advertising, the rule can be so loose it’s sky-is-the-limit when it comes to one’s unfettered enthusiasm to build oneself up to prospective clients.  The only thing that can restrain one from venturing into the limitless realm of fantasy is his conscience and his standard for the strict truth.

PhotobucketSo if you want to stretch the truth by putting out a hype ad, here are two things to consider: look up to an increase sale or expect derision from your fellow advertisers and magicians.

Stay magical,