One of the best movies I’ve seen on spin is Thank You For Smoking. If you haven’t see it, or read the book, it’s fantastic. In short, it’s about a guy who works as a spin doctor for Big Tobacco, and how he’s trying to build a better relationship with his son, while going up against a senator who’s deeply against cigarettes.
Here’s one of my favorite examples of how he spins things in his favor.
The next line in the movie is fantastic, and I wish they’d included it. Senator Finisterre says “The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese.”
But in the end, it’s a spin of sorts. You don’t have to win, you just have to make the other person look wrong. Here’s another scene from the movie.
I find spin fascinating. It’s everywhere, Bill Clinton saying he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman, the IRS saying mistakes were made when they’re talking about the scandal of targeting conservative groups, and anyone who goes “If I have offended you, I apologize.”
Spin can come in other forms though, and that’s actually what I’m going for. Kaiser Permanente is doing radio ads in Portland. And while I can’t find a clip of exact ad, I did manage to find a pdf of Kaiser’s website that had the partial text of the radio ad, so here it is.
At Kaiser Permanente, out hiring process is so selective typically only one in ten doctors who apply make the cut. Which means you get great doctors to choose from.
That ad makes it sound awesome, doesn’t it? They’re only going to hire 10% of the doctors, ensuring you get the best medical care possible.
Except, when you think about it, is it truly that great? That means for every position open, only 10 people apply. Now, if that’s for something specialized, like a specific sort of cancer doctor, then I see how that could be a big deal.
But a general practitioner? Only 10 doctors apply for that position? I know that there aren’t a huge number of doctors looking for work out there, and even fresh, new doctors often have a specific area of expertise, but you’d think there would be more.
I have never been to a Kaiser facility, so I don’t know how good their medical care is. I know that most people I’ve talked to who have been don’t speak highly of it, but I don’t have any first hand experience with them.
I do however, think it’s interesting that Kaiser employs spin of it’s own kind to brighten it’s image.
Have any examples of spin you’d like to share?