No.122: Dashing the expectations they told us we should have

Weekly Wisdom 2012

What is your expectation of the quality you should receive from the supermarkets, fast food chains, banks, and airlines? The advertisements are sensational, aren’t they? Going by the television commercials the burgers from McDonald’s look fabulous and healthy. The product and staff at Coles and Woolworths appear to be the best money can buy. All of the banks care about us, provide personalised concierge services and are the cheapest on fees. Moreover, Qantas is still the best airline in the world.

The advertising agencies are producing some terrific material. They are telling the stories that resonate with consumers. You want delicious burgers standing tall with fresh salads and fluffy buns, and so you rock on down to Maccas and give it a go.

Unfortunately, we are less than happy with what is served. The advertising has decreased consumer satisfaction because we were expecting something that will never be delivered; never. We are disappointed more so by the plane’s aged interior and average business class meal than if we hadn’t seen the commercials promising a delightful experience in a fresh, newly appointed cabin.

So what? The real advertising and promotion of our businesses is word-of-mouth. Thus, the advertising has undermined any prospect of getting sensationally positive “talk” happening. Perhaps it is better to invest the millions that are currently spent on advertising into delighting and embracing the customers you already have.


The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential.”
— Calvin Coolidge