Over-Promise At Your Own Peril

Do you have clients who insist on over-promising to their customers? Seth Godin, for one, doesn’t like it.
Godin mentions Delta in his post, so I went out and found a Delta ad to illustrate his points (even though Delta is merely an example here).

Here’s the crux of Godin’s argument:

The problem is this: ads like this actually decrease user satisfaction. If the ad leads to expect one thing and we don’t get it, we’re more disappointed than if we had gone in with no real expectations at all. Why this matters: if word of mouth is the real advertising, then what you’ve done is use old-school ad techniques to actually undercut any chance you have to generate new-school results.
So much better to invest that same money in delighting and embracing the customers you already have.

Let’s look at another Delta spot from 2005 with a music bed by Donovan.

Why stop there? Let’s have another…



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.