Seinfeld on Marketing: Excuses

It’s Friday! Congrats, you made it to the end of the workweek. In this episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is discussing with Elaine his ideas for not hanging out with Joel Horneck, a guy that he’d rather not spend time with:

ELAINE: (Reading from Jerry’s notebook left on the coffee table.) “Picking someone up at the airport.” “Jury Duty.” “Waiting for cable guy.”

JERRY: Okay, just hand that over, please.

ELAINE: Oh, what is this?

JERRY: It’s a list of excuses; it’s for that guy, Horneck… I have that list now so in case he calls, I just consult it and I don’t have to see him.

As consumers we really hate to hear excuses from businesses:

  • I’m sorry but all of our representatives are busy now. Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold.
  • I’m sorry Sir but that’s not my department.

Like Wonder Woman using her wristbands to deflect bullets, some businesses use excuses to try to deflect any responsibility away from them. It’s our company policy (deflect). Our computers are down right now (deflect). I’m new here (deflect).

Excuses are like eating a piece of cake with “butter-based frosting after six decades in a poorly ventilated English basement” – sooner or later they will come back to haunt you (That’s your bonus Seinfeld quote for the day).

Bonus #2: Speaking of excuses, here is a company that for better or worse is getting some news as of late. The company allows you to buy excuses that look as if they come from areal hospital or a fake summons for jury duty.

Happy Friday everyone!

This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.

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