Inverse emotions

If you type in Neville Chamberlain into Google Images you’ll find what this post is all about.

To backtrack a little, Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of Team Great Britain on the lead up to WW2 and the first year of it. He’s remembered for being completely out of touch with what was going on around him.

His most famous image is a picture of him holding up a peace accord of sorts signed by Hitler. As it turns out his blind optimism was also misguided.


Having been in quite a few interviews for ad creative positions recently I feel like  Neville Chamberlain. I have no idea if an interview that went really well, did. Likewise, I’ve been in interviews which I can only describe as awkward – yet I get a job offer.

The ultimate outcome is the opposite of what I think.

This isn’t an experience that’s altogether new to me.

Backtrack to School and University and exams ‘I thought’ I did well on, I’d get a C on. Meanwhile something I did without caring would come back with an A.

Is this just me?

Or is this part of some sort of inverse response. We’ve been conditioned to think that whatever emotions we feel, that’s what the result will be. Almost like ‘The Secret’ lite. Think and it will happen.

Yet in the majority of my life it’s been the opposite. The emotions I feel to a situation are the opposite to the final outcome. Inverse emotions.

Because in advertising we use inverse psychology a bit to get what we want – does this manifest itself in marketing more rampantly than in other industries?

Quite often a campaign that is picked at a presentation sit down – then goes off the table and another one is picked a few days later from the decks.

Is this another example of inverse emotions at play?

I just had an interview before. It lasted 90 minutes. It was amazing all the way through until we were silent in the lift going down. Then an awkward handshake and a look away…

Looks like I got it.




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