Are you sure you want to use that picture?

Yesterday I saw this ad in the subway station…

Macbook ad in Istanbul

At first I thought, “Oh, that’s such a pretty picture there on the screen… fish, water, blue, nature, sun, how nice!” But then I saw something completely different: A herd, moving in unthinking unison, swimming, spiraling, like brainless automatons towards a bright light, towards a god they neither know nor understand.

Was this the same company that 30 years ago, in one of the most famous ads of all time, told us to break free, to think for ourselves?

Mac ad 1984

The thing about words (and images, too) is that they often mean two completely different, and sometimes opposite, things. Same words, completely different meaning. Know that when you’re communicating, you might think you’re saying one thing, but your audience might be hearing you say something completely different.

It’s almost impossible to know if there’s a disconnect without regular “polling” of your audience’s mood and attitude. But when people get nervous, as they often do on stage, it can be hard to do that “polling.”

(By the way, the ad copy says, “The Big Switch Campaign — bring in your old PC, and get 400TL off on a new Mac.)