Masterfully written by: J. Bader
There was a time in the Province of Ontario, when you couldn't show people drinking beer in a television commercial. In fact, you couldn't even show the bottle; about the only beer-related item you could show was the label. So advertisers were forced to concentrate on attractive young people having a good time. The beer was never seen, only implied.
You would think this restriction would have been a major impediment to selling beer, but because advertisers were forced to sell the psychological benefit rather than the conventional features, they by necessity, had to concentrate on the emotional hotspot, thereby establishing the brand's true value to consumers.
The government of the day in it's puritanical silliness, actually helped the beer companies find better ways to sell more beer than they would otherwise have found left on their own.
The Web is not all that different; it's not that there is anything in particular that you can't show, it's just that there are many things that when shown as they are, just don't capture the spirit of the product. Sandpaper is not about abrasive characteristics, it's about beautiful furniture or a new family room; board games aren't about cardboard pieces, they're about having a good time with family and friends; and cosmetics are not about this years trendy colors, or botanical elixirs, they're about simply making yourself as appealing as possible.