THE STRATEGY OF FLAUNTING
If you got it, flaunt it.
The essence of The Strategy of Flaunting is simple: when you have a problem, don’t try to cover it up, but put it on display for the whole world to see. It’s a hard thing to do because we humans usually prefer disguising our flaws – look no further than Donald Trump’s hair, for example. But if we really want to transform our problems, sometimes it’s best to show our truest selves, warts and all. Check out these examples of The Strategy of Flaunting:
The disaster is the intention
In February of 2014, the Corvette Museum in Kentucky, USA experienced a phenomenal natural disaster. Because the soil in Kentucky is mostly limestone, the building foundations can be a little wobbly. Such was the case when the floor of the Museum collapsed into the earth, taking 12 vintage Corvettes with it. Museum officials scrambled to raise money for repairs. But the interest in the disaster was so high that management decided to incorporate the gigantic hole and demolished Corvettes into the exhibit. People actually cared more about the Museum after the accident than before!
If you can’t hide it, paint it red
What first appears to be a weakness can sometimes end up a strength. Take the case of the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam. They weren’t sure how to compete with other hotels, and decided to accentuate their ‘budget hotel’ status. In other words, they came up with brilliant advertising campaigns such as ‘Come Stay at The Worst Hotel in the World!’ They flaunted their ‘badness’ and it became their strength.
The Ricky Gervais Strategy
One thing is for sure – we humans love to cheer for the underdog. As the British comedian Gervais says, “you gotta see yourself as inferior to the audience.” Intelligence is good. A sense of humor is good. But showing fellow humans our vulnerabilities is the key to winning sympathy. Take the case of American talk-show host David Letterman. At one point in his career, Letterman had been having an extra-marital affair. A producer at CBS found out about the affair, and attempted to blackmail Letterman by demanding money for silence. Instead of paying the blackmailer, Letterman called his bluff. He contacted the police, who then went after the man. On top of that, Letterman admitted his transgressions during his show, for the whole world to see. Instead of disgracing him, we the audience cheered his decision. We forgave his mistake and applauded his honesty. That particular episode is still one of the most widely viewed episodes in Letterman’s legendary career.
The Sagrada Familia Approach
The famous Spanish artist Gaudi spent his final years completely obsessed with finishing his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The church became his sole purpose in life. Interestingly though, he never finished the project. In fact, the architects who took over the project after Gaudi’s death also didn’t finish. To this day, Sagrada Familia still isn’t finished. But that doesn’t stop thousands of people from visiting every year. And that’s what we love and respond to: a human being who can’t let go, who suffers and still carries on. In short, we cannot dismiss the power of a person who flaunts his weakness.