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September 15th, 2010

Are you really surprised?



So, why did last week’s newsletter only have two words in it? And why does our website have a self-guided audio tour with Dave Matthews, the future, and your mom? And why does this video have over 800,000 views?

Because people like surprises.

Think about it. Every day, you wake up at the same time, go through the same morning routine, drive the same route to work, listen to the same “______and _____ in the morning” radio show, park in the same spot, and work on the same challenges at your job, which includes the usual two hours a day on footballguys.com, wondering the same question: “Who should I start this week—Jerome Harrison or Cadillac Williams?” (Okay, maybe that’s just us.)

On top of that, consider how you engage with advertising. Our personal radars, TiVos, and spam filters are finely tuned to identify marketing messages we’ve already seen, and avoid them like the plague.

So in other words, a message that doesn’t surprise equals a message that doesn’t get noticed. Or registered. Or remembered. Or acted upon. Or forwarded to you from friends in Oakland or New York asking if we’ve ever seen this hilarious Browns jersey before. Of course, they’re not surprised to hear we’re the idiots who created it.