Noraini and Choo are Smarter than You


I came across these advertisements for The Chartered Bank in a magazine called Malaysia from the early 1970s. I find the logic that these advertisements use to communicate with the reader to be very interesting.

The first says that “Noraini may not know much about import duties. . . But she could tell you the way to ‘The Chartered Bank.’”

Then in smaller print below the picture it says that “The Chartered Bank is as much a part of the Malaysian scene as the tappers in the rubber plantations which fringe the highways or the street stalls selling meals on a skewer.” It then goes on to talk about the bank.

Then there is the following advertisement about Choo. It says that “Choo may not know all about the growth of local industry. . . But she could tell you the way to ‘The Chartered Bank.’”

Below this picture it then says “The Chartered Bank is as much a part of Singapore’s life as the orchid girls who trim and pack their fragile, exotic wares safe for airlifting to every part of the world. . .”

So what is the interesting logic to these advertisements? As I see it, it’s based on this line of reasoning: 1) women are simple-minded, 2) Noraini and Choo are both women, 3) Noraini and Choo both know where The Chartered Bank is, therefore, 4) The Chartered Bank is VERY famous and well-established because even simple-minded women like Noraini and Choo know where it is.

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