It’s Friday. I’m actually a little low energy and so I decide to go out and pick up a late lunch. I’ll eat it in my car listening to a podcast and get some outside / sun time. The podcast of choice is Startup, a podcast about starting a business to make podcasts. It’s a good show, with interesting stories and high production values. It’s in season 4 so we are well past the pitch stuff and into the real forced growth issues that all VCs seem to face.
Today was a particularly powerful episode of Startup with lots of emotion. It even had me a little teary eyed. Then the end came, but it was not the true end. We still had an upbeat MailChimp ad, read by the same podcaster who just seconds ago had us all in tears.
It was one of the most drastic shifts of emotional voice I can remember and it had me rolling my eyes with bewilderment.
You don’t do this. You don’t play the heart strings of your audience and then shove an ad down their throat while they are in the moment. You don’t end Schindler’s List with a Pepsi ad.
The producers of this show are professionals. They are listening to these audio cuts many, many times over, but I suspect they aren’t doing it with the Mailchimp ads weaved in. Maybe they should.
The lesson here, once again is empathy. We need to constantly work to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience. If you have something important or emotional to share with your audience, you don’t weave it into your revenue system. I totally accept the need to use ads for some systems but if you must show ads, maybe for a show with an arc like this you show an extra one in the beginning so you can end clean? Doing it like this just seems emotionally tone deaf for me.