A view from Dave Trott: Equal doesn't mean the same
A view from Dave Trott

Equal doesn't mean the same

Aimee Scott is 21, she teaches eighth grade (seven-year-olds) in Utah.

The kids are new to school and some of them have special needs, so Aimee has something she does with them before she starts lessons.

She asks the class if anyone has ever fallen over and scraped their elbow.

Obviously all the kids have, so they hold their hands up.

She asks one of them to come up to the front and tell the story.

Then she gives them a Band-Aid for their elbow.

Everyone can see this is kind gesture and makes sense.

Then she asks if anyone has ever had a stomach ache.

Again, everyone holds their hands up.

She asks one of them to come to the front of class and tell the story.

Then she gives them a Band-Aid for their elbow, as well.

Everyone doesn’t quite get it, how does a Band-Aid help a stomach ache?

Then she asks if anyone has ever had a cold and sneezing.

Again, everyone holds their hand up.

She asks one of them to come to the front and tell the story.

Then she also gives them a Band-Aid for their elbow.

By now the kids are confused, how can a Band-Aid help sneezing?

Then she asks if anyone has ever had a headache.

Everyone holds their hands up.

She asks them to come to the front of class and tell the story.

Then she gives them a Band-Aid for their elbow.

By now the kids are really confused, how does a Band-Aid help a headache?

Eventually she explains to the children that a Band-Aid isn’t right in all cases.

Everyone’s got a different problem so they all need a different solution, not everyone needs the same thing.

Aimee says this works with the class because it’s simple and obvious, everyone can see it makes sense. 

And it helps during lessons because one of the children might have diabetes, and they might need a sugary sweet occasionally.

If she gives them one, and one of the other children says “Why can’t I have a sweet?” Aimee can remind them by just saying “Remember the Band-Aid?”

And the child remembers that not everyone needs the same thing.

It works when one of her children, with autism, needs noise-cancelling headphones and another child wants headphones too, she can just say “Band-Aid” and they remember.

Or when one of her children with ADHD needs a fidget-spinner, and another child wants a fidget-spinner, too.

Aimee, or one of the children, will just say "Band-Aid" and everyone immediately remembers that it isn’t unfair that one person gets something different. 

Fair doesn’t mean everyone gets the same, fair means everyone gets what they need.

Aimee really understands communication: make it simple, make it catchy, make it fun. 

Make it something they can easily understand and want to remember.

In our terms, make it a message people want to repeat long after the ad is finished.

Instead of something so boring they forget it before the packshot’s faded.

If it doesn’t live outside of the media we’ve paid for, it’s wasted money.

Going viral shouldn’t be something special, it should be the standard requirement.

Our message should live in the mind of the consumer, not die on the screen.

Whether we personally like the communication or not is irrelevant.

Whether the communication works with the target market is everything. 

Dave Trott is the author of The Power of Ignorance, Creative Blindness and How to Cure It, Creative Mischief, Predatory Thinking and One Plus One Equals Three

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