You Deserve It!


I’m amazed at the number of advertisements I hear that use the phrase “…because you deserve it!” and variations of this idea.

Clearly this is effective marketing for a specific target market, a market expected to have some sense of entitlement.

“We’ll get you the benefits you deserve.”

“Get the computer your children deserve.”

“If your credit has been denied, we’ll get you the car you deserve!”

Notice these don’t suggest any of this was earned.  To be candid, I believe that we deserve what we truly earn, be it wages, benefits, respect, value, equity, or even trust.  But these ads are generally not about that.  They are about responding to a feeling of entitlement, not something earned.

Despite my personal convictions on entitlement attitudes, strangely, I find there is also a great lesson on effective communication here.  These ads are targeted to evoke an emotional response and direct action from an identified audience.  And I think they nailed it.  Fantastic and effective communication.

You see, while I don’t respond to these ads I am also not their target audience.  I don’t matter to them.  They are not speaking to me and were never intended to do so.  These advertisers learned that you don’t need a message that reaches everyone (where everyone also ignores it), they need a message that is embraced by the customers they specifically seek.

So while I don’t personally like these ads, I realize they are effective for doing a number of things right in communicating to a specific audience, including:

  • Know your audience.
  • Speak from their perspective.
  • Appeal to their perspective.
  • Appear realistic and achievable.
  • Connect with empathy.
  • Finish with a call to action they can accomplish easily. (“Call now, 1-800-###-####”)
  • A sense of urgency in taking action. (“Limited Time!”)

Lessons come from many things in our life, including our failures or simple observations of the world around us.  And if I gained your interest or respect with my thoughts here, I hope it is because I earned it.



About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.