Let’s watch the words

Language and words are the most important way we show the world who we’re striving to become like, who we want to be.

In “On The Waterfront”, Terry Malloy doesn’t lament, ‘I coulda contended!’ He says, ‘I coulda been a contender.’ Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley don’t want to think contrarily, they want to be contrarian. Creative directors in New York don’t want to work creatively, they want to be creative.

When we’re convincing somebody to want a Bud Light, we shouldn’t talk about the refreshing flavor, lack of calories, lower alcohol content or any other product feature. We shouldn’t think about turning those features into benefits. That’s not the point. 

René Girard shows we need to tell them they ought to desire inclusion to a particular peer group, a particular set of people they want to become.

We don’t need to advertise the product. The product is not the point.

We need to advertise the peer group they want to become like.

We need to advertise the models, the mediators.

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