the sky floor

How to be a Truly Wise Owl

August 12, 2022

Have you ever noticed that in literature, owls are always wise? It makes sense – the chicken came first – owls look like they should have on round wire spectacles with a fancy gold pocket watch tucked into their tweed vest. Of course you are wise when your entire species graduated from Merton at Oxford (note: this may not be factually accurate). 

So it makes sense when authors, especially of children’s books, make the sage character an owl. You can’t fault them; it is more fitting than penning the discerning character as a donkey. 

In other words, our expectations define the choice. When the owl is introduced to the story, we expect it to be intelligent. 

You can use the same effect in your marketing. 

What superficial expectations does your audience have? Can you utilize this to drive home a message?

BUT, there is an enormous caveat! If you introduce the proverbial owl, it ought to be clever. 

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It will hurt your brand if you use expectations to sell your product or service but don’t back that up. 

For example, you hire a celebrity who cares about the environment to endorse your product because you want people to think you care too. But then you don’t do anything to solve environmental issues. Your audience will find out, especially if they came into your world, because they follow the crusading celebrity. 

If you want to use expectations in your marketing, great – just make sure that you follow up the anticipation with reality. 


  • What owls can you use to promote your brand, product, or service?
  • How can you back that up with reality? In other words, does it fit your company’s vision, mission, and culture? Don’t pretend!