By now you all know I am a CNN junkie. As I stated in a recent Publicity Club interview, I believe CNN is the best example of traditional media embracing and leveraging Web 2.0. From the YouTube partnership to blogs to citizen’s journalism to podcasts, CNN is light years ahead of its peers. The CNN/YouTube presidential debate was a great example. CNN put aside its traditional roots and fully embraced the essence of YouTube and user-generated content. When CNN allows a snowman to ask a presidential candidate a question about global warming, Web 2.0 has flexed its muscle and traditional media has stepped aside and bowed.
In spite of this love affair, I am irked by one line that CNN delivers over and over and over on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper 360°. The line is actually negatively impacting my ability to hear anything else because it is such a fundamental mistake being made by a bleeding-edge media outlet. “The best political team on television” is repeated so often during the programs that I find myself counting how many times it is being said versus listening to what “the best political team” is actually saying. It’s said dozens of times on any given night. The line is so forced that at times you can see Anderson Cooper squirm when he recites it.
Positioning 101 tells us there are certain things you shouldn’t message about your brand – Best People, Best Service, Best Technology, blah, blah, blah. Instead these messages should be delivered through the brand experience. The fact of the matter is The Situation Room probably does have “the best political team on television” but they shouldn’t be telling us this, they should deliver it through the program and let the viewers draw that conclusion on their own.
Imagine if a presidential candidate incessantly repeated the line – “The best presidential candidate in the race” over and over and over every single time he or she spoke, multiple times an hour. The media would rip him or her to shreds. Instead the candidates are speaking to the issues – well sometimes – in hopes that the voters will come to that conclusion on their own. It’s like showing up on a date and telling someone – “I’m really smart, exceptionally good looking and very funny.” My guess is the majority of the people on the planet wouldn’t do this in a million years. However, they would probably hope the person they had the date with felt this after an evening together.
What shameless self-hype has gotten under your skin?