Art of Message

Art of Message – May 12, 2023

Black swan messaging

One interpretation of the movie, The Black Swan, is that the lead character, the Swan Queen and her rival, the Black Swan, are two aspects the same person.

Like Jung’s “shadow self”, the repressed black swan is a problem – a tangle of motivations and desires that are not acknowledged or even understood.

Is our refusal to acknowledge them a matter of self-survival? Ogilvy thought so. He said: customers fear that accepting their hidden desires will destroy their vision of themselves – and like a protective blanket they need that vision to survive.

But why? Because they fear that the desires will run wild; that was the Swan Queen’s fear. Examples of black swans running wild:

  • Extreme laziness
  • Extreme overeating and drinking
  • Obsession with material things and money
  • Controlling behavior

But repressing them doesn’t mean they don’t exist; that’s why fine-tuned messaging speaks to the Black Swan and says it’s Ok.

Netflix: it’s delightfully ironic to binge-watch series all weekend!

Here’s the thing, though – “swan-whispering” isn’t always sinister, because in moderation, most desires are harmless if not fulfilling. Using Basecamp and Asana, the team gets some control over its work – that’s nice for everyone.

There’s a product design and messaging sweet spot here.

The message above comes from…
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