You’re reading hot dogs and eggs, a blog by Chris Gallo since 2014.

Medium > Message

This post will take you about 3 minutes to read.

You have an amazing amount of ways to communicate.

Phone call. Email. Face-to-face. Text message. Video. Tweet. Snapchat. Skype. Vine. Instagram. And so on.

These are all mediums to send your message. But is the medium becoming more important than the message?

Marketing is a subjective thing. It’s not a science. There is a lot of art to it. My personal belief is that the medium really does communicate a lot about the message. In some cases, the medium overrides the message.

Steve Jobs, Messages & Mediums

Substitute marketing for communication. It’s all subjective. As much as you believe things are black and white - they’re not.

It’s full of colors. Perceptions. Assumptions. And feelings.

Without changing the message, the medium can radically change how you feel.

Here’s a simple example

Animated Gifs & Static Images/Text

You’ve stumbled across the message before when surfing the web. A 404 page. It means you’re on a page that no longer exists or at a broken link. It’s the most common error message on the Internet.

Simple message. But the medium makes an enormous difference in how you feel.

Take and as an example. Both sites present the same error message. The page you tried to visit doesn’t exist.

How does the ESPN example make you feel?

Ads are not going to help here. The page features tons of links and a search bar. But this message is just plain and ordinary.


Now what about the MLB example?

The medium of an animated gif entertains you. This makes you smile. You almost want to refresh the page to see the next blunder. It’s a brilliant way to deliver a simple message.

Steve Jobs’ answer was about Apple’s advertising. If you continue to watch the video, you will hear Jobs explain why Apple should avoid television or commercials this year (1997).

Television creates the perception that Apple needs to spend money to convince you everything was on the right track. At the time, Apple needed to use the medium of print media to talk about it’s products and customers in a straight-forward way.

Because it changes how people feel about the company. Apple is not trying to convince us. They’re being real and honest.

The same is true for you. What medium you choose for communication has a lot more impact than you think.

Instead of sending a PDF of your cover letter. Make a video.

Rather than texting your parents. Call and tell them you love them.

Don’t ask someone to ‘connect’ on LinkedIn. Grab a cup coffee.

Because the medium beats the message.