Today, an ad for an on-the-go organic yogurt drink popped up on my Facebook feed. The video parodies the morning rituals of women. They start by showing a woman practicing yoga in her underwear, one journaling in her ‘journaling book’, one eating farm fresh breakfast from a tiny spoon made by a company who gives tiny spoons to underprivileged children (which did make me laugh), who is later seen making small batch kombucha.

But then the tone changed. The message shifted to something like, actually science shows that women don’t have time for any of this.

They showed these ‘morning rituals’, not as something attainable, but as pipe dream realities.

The video proceeded to fire off a string of percentages, drawn from a survey of 1,000+ women, that highlight how desperately bad mornings are for them – how stressed out, how hurried they feel.

  • 57% are up before the sun (this is a bad thing?)
  • 21% check work email before getting out of bed (electronic free is the way to be darlings)
  • 33% never make the bed (there’s a study that correlates levels of  happiness and productivity with making your bed)
  • 58% will swear at someone or something this morning (stress + hurry = anger & subzero levels of patience)

And, this is the one that got me because holy shit how SAD.

Only 16% would describe their morning with the hashtag (internet speak for willing to share publicly) #blessed while 43% would say #herewegoagain

Now Organic Valley is known for its cheeky commercials, they certainly know their audience here – mostly working mothers – and their desire to put organic meals inside busy bodies is a good one, but the delivery, the sarcasm for healthy habits like yoga and journaling, and the bandwagon party tactics of showcasing that your shitty morning is just like all these other women’s shitty mornings, is what keeps their audience stuck.

It sets stress as the expectation of normalcy, and creates solidarity in misery.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s effective marketing, people ‘love’ the commercial, and it sells drinks. They’ve done the market research, asked the questions to get the answers that support their campaign, played on the secret envy and eyerolls of women who wish they could do yoga in their underwear every morning.

They know their audience, I’m sure it sells, but the message sucks.

How easy would it have been to highlight the 79% of women who don’t check their work email from bed?

Or use the fact that only 16% feel blessed as an impetus for change.

53% of women leave the house in less than an hour, but what if they took the position that knowing your organic breakfast is waiting for you makes one hour feel like two?

They could have asked different questions and as a result come up with a very different message that still resonated.

I’m clearly not their target market, hell this morning I transplanted growing things (let’s hope they stay alive), meditated on the floor, did some acroyoga, took a nap, and decided to move my work day to the afternoon, because that’s what felt right to me – that’s the beauty of the entrepreneur’s life.

I’m not their suit wearing, coffee spilling, explicative slinging audience, but this advertisement still had an effect on me. It reminded me, as entrepreneurs, we choose our messages.

WE decided how to resonate with our audience.

You can use a pain point as an impetus for positive change, or you can use it to commiserate, sell them something, and in the end, help them stay stuck.

It’s your choice. And it all starts with the questions you ask yourself, the questions you ask your audience and the kind of presence you decide you want to be in the market.

Sure the commiserative sarcastic approach might be more readily accepted (for now), but the positive perspective might make a bigger difference, a lasting change, and who knows it could also outsell the other – I believe in that world.

Life and business, they’re all about angles. What’s yours?

Watch the videoTake the quiz. What do you think? #amijustbeingsensitive? #blessed #forreal


As entrepreneurs, we choose our messages.