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.)


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.’


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.