the elevator is lying to you.

This is an interesting factoid, about human behavior, and product design. You've probably seen the clip that's made its way around the internets, featuring the guy stuck in the elevator for 41 hours. Yech.

This leads to a fun fact about elevator design. It turns out that the handy "close door" button doesn't work. In ANY elevator manufactured since the early 90's. It's only there to make you feel like you have a sense of control.

When I read this, it made me angry. Why can't we be honest?

There's a new Quiznos spot running, featuring a yummy looking chicken thing. And in the new spot, it features the sandwich as "naughty." I laughed, because I saw that as honest. I'm not going to eat a mega-calorie gut buster because I think it's the healthy thing to do. I'm going to eat it because I deserve it. Or because I feel like being naughty. (In the eating, kind of naughty way.)

So, bring on the honesty. Let's stop deception. Let's get naughty.


Ben Kunz said...

Great insight

An issue related to honesty is projection ... meaning that many marketers think so much about their product attributes, which they are proud of, that they don't think of the customer need. A lot of messaging isn't dishonest, it's just off base because marketers will talk from the inside out -- look at our operations and components -- vs. the outside in -- look what makes people clamor at the door. Ever see a hospital billboard with pictures of doctors? Exactly.

Quiznos hit the outside need perfectly here -- I want to indulge myself, so pile on the bacon. Let's be naughty.

A lot of companies would get this wrong, focusing instead on "we use more bacon," "our rolls are fresher," blah blah.

I once was in a room filled with healthcare executives debating the nuances of their cancer service and which aspects they should promote, when a senior executive stood up and said, "what if we proclaimed that we are going to eradicate colon cancer from our community in the next 5 years?" Everyone sat back in stunned silence. It was brilliant. It was possible (if everyone in the community got a screening). It would have made news. It would have made people cheer. It would have solved the core need, protect ME from DEATH.

Instead, that organization eventually launched billboards with photos of doctors. After all, those are nice ingredients.

Anonymous said...

(*Nods in agreement with Ben*) I have such a similar story relative to design by committee, but I can’t recount it because the pain is still too much to bear.


As for naughty, tough road. The King has already carved out a nice path with kinky chicken.

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