My closest Lowe’s store has a new sales floor display, featuring Bosch Driven screwdriver bit sets. Bosch Driven is their very slightly updated line of impact-rated screwdriver bits, advertising 50X life compared to “standard” Bosch bits.
The display also featured a bold claim from someone called @BrettK: Longest Lasting Bits I’ve Ever Used.
Is BrettK a paid Bosch influencer? Are they a contractor? Hobbyist? Are they a tool tester or reviewer that I have never come across before?
Hmm – this @brettk doesn’t seem to have any posts or any followers on Instagram. They’re not on Facebook either.
There is a BrettK on Twitter, but they don’t have any tool-related content on their account at all, at least not that I can see going back a few years before Bosch Driven was ever launched.
Okay, so who exactly is Bosch quoting, and from where?
By quoting “longest lasting bits” and attributing this to a quoted individual, does that mean they can say anything they want?
Bosch has done this before – last November they had a display at Lowe’s stores which featured their pre-Driven line of Impact Tough screwdriver bits.
As an aside, this display says “Bosch 40-pc Impact Ready Modular Screwdriving Set” on the pricing board. It should read Impact Tough, as Stanley Black & Decker owns the Impact Ready trademark under their Dewalt brand (serial no. 77118302). But I digress.
Quoting a @mstiles_1991, this set boldly advertises that it includes the Best Bit Holder on the Market Period.
There are no Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter accounts for this user, at least not that I can find. I did find a similar Instagram name without an underscore, but it’s a private account.
I also tried looking at user reviews at Lowe’s and Bosch’s website, but to no avail.
Giving Bosch the benefit of the doubt, they surely must be quoting user reviews, posts, or comments, but who, and from where? I’ve tried my best, but the claims so far seem to be untraceable. What Bosch could have done is include a shortened link URL or QR code as part of their use of these quoted statements in their advertisements.
Traceability is important, otherwise a brand could potentially quote anything in advertising without it actually being technically or universally true. Right?
In these cases, Bosch’s impact screwdrivers bits might not be the longest lasting, and their bit holder far from the best, but since their advertising is only quoting subjective individual comments, Bosch technically isn’t making objective claims.
Here’s a question – would this advertising tactic be any better even if we could trace the quoted statements or endorsements to their sources?
When a marketing practice is done once, it’s an experiment. When it’s done twice 10 months apart, this usually indicates a new pattern or trend. This one’s peculiar, and I hope it doesn’t become common practice.
Bosch North America has experimented with unconventional marketing strategies before, such as giving their cordless power tools official names like “Freak” and “Hitman.”
The veracity of brands’ advertising claims can usually be tested and verified by competitors, helping to keep everyone in check. But how can that be done when companies and especially consumers cannot trace the quoted statements to check for context or the trustworthiness of the source?