Did you watch The Sopranos season/series finale? If you're like Ann, you did watch, and you were not so happy about the ending. Which is exactly how I felt and still do, almost.


In a nutshell, the season ended into nothing. In other words, nothing happened. Nobody (Tony and family) got wacked, nobody went into witness protection and nobody knows nothin', especially the audience.
As I analyzed the ending over and over in my head, I began to think about why the producer, David Chase, would end a series in such a manner. As my thoughts went deeper I began to think about how he could have ended it, and how he should have ended it and how I would have liked it to end.
Then I started reading message boards and blog comments about the ending. I must have spent an hour after the show reading online trying to learn more about the ending to try and gain more closure for myself. I thought, maybe I missed something?
Then two things hit me.
1. I'm a huge fan because I spent time actually seeking out extra information about the show beyond the television. I wanted more!
2. There simply was no other way for him to end the series. Why? Because the expectations were too high.
If he would have ended it with Tony being wacked or going into witness protection, many fans would have said it was predictable. If he would have ended it with Tony and his family living happily ever after, then many other fans would have been upset for the exact same reason.
It would have been an impossible task to write the perfect ending. The expectations that fans/consumers/viewers like me gave him no other choice. Instead, he did what needed to be done. He created a non-ending.
Whew, all that to get to my marketing point.
Be careful not to oversell expectations to your customer. Usually there is a long-term brand at stake.
Of course, I have questions for you as a marketer. Do you have answers?
Are you carefully managing your customer's expectations? Do you oversell?
What happens when you are unable to deliver on your marketing message because the expectation you created is too good?
What should have happened to Tony Soprano?

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