When did one of your ads last generate a complaint call? If it’s been longer than you can remember, you’re ads are probably bla-bla vanilla and couldn’t move my Maltese off his pillow.
Tough love time, friend.
Effective ads carry a magnetic charge. They attract customers you want. They also repel unwanted customers. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the better you repel, the better you’ll attract. It’s the nature of magnetism: you only attract to the degree which you repel.
“The Universal Law of Magnetic Attraction states that we attract into our lives people, things and circumstances that correspond with our dominant patterns of emotional thinking”
The opposite is equally true: we repel that which conflicts with our emotional thinking. When an ad conflicts with your patterns, it get a reaction. Burger King ran ads with a rapping SpongeBob that torqued off minivan moms coast-to-coast. Sales went up. They weren’t talking to those moms.
Magnetism generates a choice
Life is a lot of little choices. Yes or no. Now or later. True or baloney. Your ad is just another one of many your customer will make in a day. We want to be with people we like who are like us and like us. A good ad makes that case. Unfortunately, weak-kneed ad writers stop at good. It’s not enough.
Magnetically charged ads make sure those who aren’t “like us” know they won’t like it here. Drawing a repelling distinction reinforces your positive charge with the customers you want to attract. Remember: show-don’t-tell. Being heavy-handed or tangibly overt with the negative charge can turn off even your loyal customers.
Example: How many clock-punching paycheck players will respond to this recruiting video?
Not your cup of tea?
Good. Go find coffee.
People like to be part of the in-crowd. So, create an out-crowd. Perrigo doesn’t want everyone. They want a specific culture. Likewise, aren’t there some customers you’d prefer inflicting on a competitor?
When an idea produces a visceral reaction, you’ve found the pulse. Follow it to the heart of what speaks your essence clearly, specifically to your customer’s felt need. Don’t be surprised when the idea turns off about a third of the people with whom you share it. Powerful ideas have a way of doing that.
Focus on attraction
The first purpose of your ad is to attract. Keep that focus. Be bold with it. When your message communicates clearly and specifically, the rest will take care of itself. When you’re bold enough to say who you are, you’re making a choice that buys credibility with both those you attract and repel.
A client told me he wanted to put up a sign that said, “no wine snobs allowed.” Instead, we created a culture that communicated it. The wine snobs drink and opine elsewhere.
Note: Choosing to communicate reputation and prestige is one of six ways you can buy credibility. Learn more. Read my partner Tom Wanek’s new book, “Currencies that buy Credibility.” It’s a great read. Check it out at Amazon.[Originally published on 17 November 2009]