I’ve been spending a bit of time over the past week mulling over different models for clients based on Transactional Analysis. So many aspects of TA are fantastic tools to explain so much in marketing. I used Karpman’s Drama Triangle for some work with a client this week and it had an amazing impact. It can be a quite esoteric model when applied to brands or categories (a bit “on the couch” for some) and should be used sparingly – use it’s power with caution!
It’s only really appropriate for certain categories and used wildly will always lead you on a wild goose chase (with your confused and disappointed clients!) But with in the right context, and on the right brand, with the right strategic question, it can give you a wonderful ah-ha moment.
My old faithful TA tool is to look at communication through Berne’s ego states (Parent, Adult and Child). It really helps demonstrate what is making your comms work or not. Giving me too many facts when I want to play? Telling me to have fun, when I need some structure? Giving me your opinions when I want to be your equal? It’s a pretty simple way to show why sometimes people just switch off.
Walking home a few nights ago (I think it may have been after a swift Guinness or two), Matt and I got talking about a potential “fourth ego state”…The Deranged.
We were wondering what ego state a particular type of ad style is coming from, and how they are correctly received. Those ads that scream and create a heightened sense of urgency to get in and get that rug/sink/designer handbag Because it Must be Sold NOWWWWW, and the offer will Never Be Repeated, and you imagine the voice-over guy has bleeding ears and eyes as he strains harder to get the words out louder and faster, and you can picture people in the warehouse throwing and grappling and fighting for the stock on sale…Matt and some of his friends make mention of this here for a pod-cast on zombie marketing.
Parent and Child ego states talk quite nicely together. But in the same way that Adult ego states can only speak amongst themselves, we felt that deranged can only talk to deranged.