Regardless of your political persuasion, President Obama did something remarkable at the White House Correspondence Dinner – he actually got everyone’s attention.

The President has given literally thousands of speeches during his time in office, but for the first time since his inaugural speech in 2008 — his words legitimately went viral. Amazingly, he didn’t accomplish this by launching a new initiative or declaring a war. Nor did he reveal the juicy details of a scandal or almost choke on a chicken bone. All it took for his speech to go viral was his use of a clever way to say how he actually feels about the press.

Take a look at your current marketing campaign. Is it saying what you feel “comfortable” saying, or what you “wish” you could say? Chances are if you’re “wishing” you could say something — so is your target. The bottom line is simple: How can you expect your customers to listen to you, when you spend so much time and effort saying almost nothing?

For fun, imagine the attention these brands might get if they stopped posturing, and started simply embracing what their customers are actually feeling? Be honest, would these messages have a chance at actually going viral?

McDonald’s // We know you don’t say you eat here, but you do. You so do.

Diet Coke // It’s a treat, not a suitable excuse to order the large fries.

Southwest // Yes, we’re a bus, but we’re cheap and on time.

Subway // We know you only eat here when you’re feeling a little fat.

If any of the above brands suddenly ran campaigns that dared to embrace what their target actually thought – rather than simply what the brand felt comfortable saying – they would be rewarded with a remarkable amount of attention.

Don’t believe it?…Just ask “Angry Obama”.