When you use “borrowed interest,” what exactly are you borrowing?

Timothy Hutton's ill-fated Groupon commercial

Piggybacking on the Dali Lama didn't work

Sometimes when you’re trying to figure out what to talk about in your marketing communications, the temptation to “borrow interest” from a totally unrelated topic is too hard to pass up.

Maybe because it’s relatively easy to borrow interest from something or someone who is well-known. And relatively hard to perform the real work that’s often required to communicate real value.

But think twice before using someone else’s fame, reputation or notoriety to get attention for yourself. It can backfire. Continue reading