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Recently, the Dutch have enshrined in law the idea of Net Neutrality, being one of the first to do so. One of the biggest deciding factors was that the public did not want to have their Skype charged at a different rate to any other data service. Net Neutrality is a pretty complex idea, and most of the general public are just not interested. However, in this case, what they did understand is ‘chatheffing’ or ‘chat tax‘. This distilled the argument down into one small idea that everyone can understand, and buy into.

This idea is brilliantly illustrated by Toby Zigler in The West Wing when he is talking about Free Trade in Somebody’s Going to Emergency, Somebody’s Going to Jail.

“Food is cheaper! Clothes are cheaper. Steel is cheaper. Cars are cheaper. Phone service is cheaper. You feel me building a rhythm here? That’s because I’m a speech writer – I know how to make a point.”

Toby Ziegler: “It lowers prices, it raises income. You see what I did with ‘lowers’ and ‘raises’ there?”

Toby Ziegler: “It’s called the science of listener attention. We did repetition, we did floating opposites, and now you end with the one that’s not like the others. Ready? Free trade stops wars. Heh, and that’s it. Free trade stops wars! And we figure out a way to fix the rest. One world, one peace – I’m sure I’ve seen that on a sign somewhere.”

The concept can be applied to anything where there is communication involved. Whether it is selling an idea, a company tag line, or trying to get someone to buy into a brand emotionally.


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