On the human desire to meddle ever so slightly

On the human desire to meddle ever so slightly

This is an old presentation trick, but it’s good.

It was started by an advertising agency that would produce carefully worked-out presentation concepts, but always include a blue duck somewhere in the visual. When it came to the feedback, clients would say: “We love it, apart from just one thing — can you take the duck out?”

The creatives would sign a little, make a brief but lacklustre defence of their ultramarine mascot, then agree to the change — knowing everything else was going through. And they used this trick for years.

It’s a simple bit of psychology, really, reflecting the human desire to meddle ever so slightly. The clients would feel they had made a crucial intervention, little knowing that they had been deceived into approving everything else.

Excerpt from: Now Try Something Weirder: How to keep having great ideas and survive in the creative business by Michael Johnson

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