Some time ago, industrial designers at a conference in Washington, D.C., highlighted their most amazing gadgets for homes and work.
Funny thing, though. None of the Jetsons-type futuristic gizmos made The Washington Post the next day, says veteran speechwriter Fletcher Dean.
Instead the Post wrote about one old, low-tech design. “It was this: a simple yellow rubber duck,” Dean says, holding aloft the toddler’s toy.
A speaker mentioned carcinogens used in the manufacture of the duck—which often end up in the mouths of toddlers and teething babies. He scored big-time coverage not through Ciceronian prose, but by connecting emotionally with his listeners: Why in the world would we design, with intent, a product like this for our children to use?