Being “least objectionable” is not the same as being “attractive”

Lots of discussion on my earlier post about the unfortunate positioning line “the station everyone at work can agree on.”

Here’s more fuel to add to my fire. It’s from Business Week’s David Kelley, via Tom Asacker:

Judging from the dozens and dozens of comments received by this blog both condemning the original Paris ad and Carl’s Jr. and the ones telling the naysayers to “lighten up,” I’d say CKE was on to something Think of it this way. I was dining recently with the head of product development of Chrysler who was talking about the company’s success with the 300, Dodge Magnum and new Dodge Charger. I told him that as I drove up on the Magnum wagon, I commented to my wife that I really liked it and would consider it for my next set of wheels. My wife immediately commented how much she seriously disliked the car’s looks. “Looks like a gangster’s car,” she said. My dining companion said. “Perfect.” At Chrysler, he explained, they are looking for 60%-70 of people to really like a design, and the other 30% or so to seriously dislike it. The danger, he said, is in creating products about which 90%+ of the public simply shrug their shoulders out of apathy.

Where you find a popular Mainstream/Soft AC station, I believe its strength has nothing to do with apathy. And nothing to do with settling on a compromise. Further, I believe we are doing our stations a disservice by assuming that listeners tune in becaue it’s inoffensive and “good enough” and crafting positioning lines which encourage that notion.

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