Pretense and manipulation

I wrote about a Morgan Stanley ad campaign recently. I've been trying to let it sit, to let them have their opinion and point of view.

But I just can't. The campaign really rubs me the wrong way. Badly.

It's not that they're trying to convince me they're the best. They are, but everyone does that. It's not that they're claiming their people are more committed and somehow better than everyone else's. They are, but everyone claims that.

It's that they're not so sure of it themselves, so they're attempting to use my personal sense of caring and empathy against me. It's like a movie that wants to be big, important and moving but doesn't quite make it, so they have to engineer a needlessly emotional ending. "Engineer" is the right word: it's calculated and not human at all. I'd rather they deal with the fact that it didn't turn out the way they wanted or go back and work on the story so such theatrics are no longer necessary.

The Morgan Stanley campaign is doing the needless emotional heart-tugging on purpose, as the primary point of each spot.


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