As you exit the interstate heading onto St. Louis University, there is a giant billboard depicting a scene of their beautiful campus. It’s very eye-catching and for the few moments you’re on the exit ramp, it’s really all you pay attention to — which is their point. If you look more closely, you’ll see that the sign is affixed to a dilapidated building with broken or boarded-up windows — not exactly the impression that fits with their brand.

I’m sure there are good reasons why they haven’t purchased the building, fixed it up, or torn it down, so for now, they have opted for diversion.

At least you can see what they are trying to cover up — which is not always the case with more manipulative marketers, media conglomerates, or social media influencers. Just like magicians, more people are mastering the art of diversion — causing you to believe one thing when it really is just a sleight of hand.

It’s a good practice to get in the habit of looking beyond the metaphorical billboards to see the broken windows next to them. That which is designed to grab our attention is intentionally diverting it away from something else.

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