let it out

I’m probably the last to see this commercial, but Kleenex has an ad campaign called “Let it out.” In the spot, a man looking friendly enough asks, “Got a minute to talk?” and strangers sit down on his couch in the middle of a busy street and evidently spill their guts out. Some laugh, some cry, but all have this bonding moment where they then view this guy as their best friend. At first it seems so juxtaposed in its setting and its outcome, but maybe it isn’t. People are starved for deeper companionship, deeper conversations, and being real. So much is expected of us and stress levels are increasing as our lives seem to spin out of control. We move at the speed of light and rarely stop to assess. Most of us have more responsibility than we know what to do with, and more on our “to do” lists than we can humanly accomplish. Some of us, somewhere along the way, have stopped living and reverted to automatic pilot, and left meaningful relationships out of the equation.
Maybe instead of asking the perfunctory, “How are you?” “Fine. How are you?” “Fine.” what if we stopped and asked, “Got a minute to talk?” And we meant it. And we listened. And someone else felt the weight of the world lifted off their tired shoulders.
In a strange sense, the phenomenon of becoming friends in “blogworld” is like that—strangers pull up a chair and ask “Got a minute?” and care enough to take the time to listen and encourage. Maybe the couch on the street isn’t so weird after all. And being real is sometimes more genuine on a blog post than with a cup of coffee around a kitchen table.

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6 thoughts on “let it out

  1. Any time, Annie.

    And although I had nothing to do with the concept (though quite a bit to do with the execution), I also think that Kleenex and the Let It Out campaign is onto something…

    Thanks again,

    The Good Listener

  2. Good listener,
    Thanks for the added perspective. I don’t think Kleenex is exploiting, but like you indicate, filling a need in this busy world for getting real, and it is sometimes easier to open up to a stranger than someone that sees you everyday and thinks you have it all together. I love this blog for that–I am more real when I write than when I answer, “Fine. How are you?” You KNOW how I’m doing by my tone each day on this blog, the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows. Thanks, Good Listener for added dimension and as a person with a marketing degree, I think Kleenex is really onto something!

  3. Hi,
    As someone with a very intimate knowledge of the kleenex commericials and the blue couch, I would like to offer this.

    The couch and the listener are simply there. No one is promised that they will be on TV. No one is offered any compensation. The only thing offered is the opportunity to speak to someone who will listen, without judgement or agenda.

    That people come out in numbers to take advantage of this suggests that “letting it out” is something that people around the country want to do. Yes, this is part of an ad campaign, but it has become more than a product-driven event.

    There is no exploitation. The more painful and awkward interviews are NOT shown, and no one is confronted by anything other than their own understanding that opening up can be a powerful and positive experience…

    thanks…

    The Good Listener

  4. Annie, if you think this fits adults, oh my goodness, you should see what its doing to our kids. I’ve told you before, the things they say at youth group, just sitting around on the floor doing nothing or having their nails painted or playing four square. The only difference between Kleenex and you and I is they see the problem but do not have the answer. They are just capitalizing on human need. Then if this is truth in advertising, they ask these people can I put you on TV with your issues. Like Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil. Now do they feel better exposed by human beings?

  5. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, pray for me and for your encouragement! You always seem to “Have a minute”! I am so blessed by our friendship!

    Love you~
    Angie xoxo

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