Do you still watch the mainstream news?
I went on a “media diet” (inspired by a suggestion from Tim Ferriss’ excellent book The 4-Hour Workweek) about a year ago.
What began as diet has become a lifestyle.
I worry less about world events that are out of control. I probably trust my neighbors more than I used to. And my faith in humanity in general is a bit stronger now.
Occasionally, I’ll tune in to a select few podcasts and online sources to scratch my itch to keep informed.
Feels better this way.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, either.
People are increasingly becoming more selective about what digital information they choose to consume… and where that information comes from.
There are probably a range of explanations why this is happening, but the one that rings truest to me is simple:
People are tired of living in a world where manufactured hysteria warps their perception of life. They’re tired of being manipulated.
A lot of people (myself included) have been caught up in dramatic cycle with the major networks. One that exhibits the same addictive elements as a bad relationship.
We like the drama… and there’s just enough juicy entertainment sandwiched in there between the fear mongering to keep us coming back for more.
The media outlets, facing plummeting ratings, have doubled down in their efforts to crank up the drama.
But people are fed up. They aren’t having it. They’re getting their information elsewhere while the media self-destructs and loses any lingering shreds of credibility.
These negative appeals can and do still work… but I don’t think they are effective as they used to be. People are more skeptical now.
Anyone who tries to tell you consumers are driven solely by fear and greed is…well… fear mongering.
We’re more complicated than that. Depending on what you’re selling, positive psychological appeals can be just as effective as ones based on fear.
Different strokes for different folks… as they say. Some chase pleasure; others run from pain.
Shrewd ads and marketing campaigns recognize that.
Finding the best approach for the job is a lot like making a great drink. It takes some experimenting with the proportions before you get something your ideal prospects like.
Most of the time, the “best possible appeal” is a combination of positive and negative emotions bundled, bundled together to showcase your unique offering.
Bottom line: if you get stumped, resist the urge to employ the mainstream media “the sky is falling (if you don’t buy my product)” approach.
If you just want to sit back and enjoy the cocktails, I can tend bar for you. Get a hold of me here.