Friday, November 12, 2010

Mitsubishi's Outlander TVC - a lesson in communications

I must confess, that being an old motor industry hack, I still following the marketing activities of car companies. From my seat in financial services, I guess there's a bit of longing for a sector where selling to customers was not a practice from the dark side.

From my repose on the sofa and between my feet resting on the coffee table, I caught a glimpse of a new Mitsubishi TVC last night that any communicator should take a look at. I'm not suggesting you should immediately rush out and buy an Outlander, just consider the take on removing jargon from communications.

The sales person in the advert starts by talking to the couple seated in the car in acronyms, "ABS, SRS, EBD etc." but then says, "What that means is it's safe." (or words to that effect). He then goes to the back of the car, opens the hatch and gives them a rundown of the luggage dimensions in millimetres and cubic metres, then says: "What that means is there's lots of space." He talks about the warranty and says: "What that means is you have worry-free driving."  Each time he interprets for the couple, they're won over as they appreciate the customer benefits offered by the car.

The last of these is interesting. Would the legal bods in financial services allow us to use the phrase 'worry free'? If we used an expression like that in relation to insurance, there'd be a stack of objections like: How do you know you'd be worry free? Wouldn't it depend on your circumstances and how much cover you had? What about if you're worried about something else?

We'd no doubt have to put in a disclaimer saying: "We can only suggest that you might be worry free. There might be other personal and financial circumstances that create worry in your life. If you feel that your insurance cover might not ensure you're worry free, we recommend you seek personal and financial advice from fully licensed practioners, including your GP, psychologist, neurologist, financial planner, accountant and bank manager. There may be other professionals that we haven't thought of from who you should seek counselling. For a definition of 'worry free', please refer to our website, where we have a pop-up window that defines it. You may find the pop-up stressful if you haven't set your browser to allow pop-ups from our website. If this worries you, you should consider seeking advice from your 12 year old, who knows how these things operate." ?

I think you get my drift. Mitsubishi's Outlander TVC should be a training video for any aspiring communicator and even perhaps our corporate lawyers!

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