Yes you can – no you can’t

There’s a bird in rural Brazil – a whacking great turkey-sized thing – that wakes you at dawn without fail. They call it the Chaco-Chachalaca and we joked that it sounded just like our kids in the next tent: ‘Yes you can – no you can’t. Yes you can – no you can’t.’ A kind of incessant rhythmical gainsaying.

Yesterday I heard a radio commercial for Axa that called to mind the Chaco-Chachalaca.

Actually the ad got my interest – something about how, if you lose a special item of jewellery, they’ll strive to have a near identical replacement made. (You can see this if you click here.)

Great.

Except the ad ended with the usual small print (in radio terms, the rapid speak). And it said – quite audibly – ‘Valuables lost or damaged may not be covered.’

What?

So I’ve listened intently (or watched or read online) – I’m interested, impressed, even – and then they tell me, ‘Oh – that thing we just said, about replacing your treasured jewellery – well, we might not.’

How bizarre.

Yet this is far from uncommon in ads that involve financial services. A nice offer, then a destructive caveat that undoes all the good work.

I can understand the need for such caveats, but what really beats me is why marketers think there is any point spending money on such a message.

My advice is to listen for the Chaco-Chachalaca.

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