Messaging Misstep #1

DIRECTV® has a commercial on TV with a russian guy who likes to talk about how he wants only the best. In the commercial he is hooked up to electrodes that are connected to a man working out. The inference is that he is becoming fit by being connected to someone else going through the pain of a work out.

The misstep is at the very end of the commercial. The last thing the russian says is, "No gain, no pain." Huh? You mean there's pain in getting DIRECTV®? You mean I have to go through pain to acquire the 'gain' of DIRECTV®?

In an attempt to keep with the theme of the commercial, the creators mauled their message. The underlying message should be that DIRECTV® is the best. However, when the commercial ends with a statement about pain, the message has shifted to a bad place.

The words you use are really important. You should take care to be sure you are always speaking to your value. Be careful that you don't confuse the message trying to deliver a clever commercial. When it backfires, it backfires big.

What examples can you cite of messaging magic or missteps?

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