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So years ago, my dear friend and colleague – Andy – signed up to a website that promised passwords to all the porn sites.
That action speaks volumes of his character … but it also speak about his IT intelligence because unsurprisingly, this website didn’t furnish him with the key to love, lust and filth but simply took his information and used it to hack into our cynic server so they could use it as an outlet to send tens of thousands of spam emails each and every day.
After spending shitloads of cash getting in experts from Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Norton and countless others … we finally stemmed the tide and got it down from tens of thousands a day to a couple of hundred … however, even though cynic is no more, I still use my cynic address because I’m a sentimental idiot which is why, I still get a steady stream of smut and “amazing deals” from the sort of people and companies you’d definitely cross the street to avoid.
Just recently I got this …
The thing is, as much as it’s going straight into the ‘delete’ file [or at least that’s what I’m telling you], when I looked at it, I thought it was quite a good summation of what many clients want their agencies to do with their ads.
Basically overkill and hard sell.
Oh sure, they may say they like ’emotionally driven advertising’, but when push comes to shove, they demand that anyone who sees/reads/hears their communication is left under no illusion of what they are selling, what the ‘user benefit’ is and why there’s is better than everyone else’s.
Sure, advertising is there to encourage motivation, action and – ultimately – sales, but this attitude that people need to be basically bullied into doing something is completely and utterly the wrong approach.
People don’t want to help brands.
People don’t want to be bullied.
What people want are things that are in their best interests … which is why it’s so important to work out what will address your audiences emotional ‘needs/wants/fears’ in a way that also addresses your client’s commercial ‘needs/wants/fears’. It’s not hard and yet more and more clients are trying to ‘force’ action with an increasingly insistent approach to their communication.
Take that email above.
HOW TO GET HER TO SUCK.
PENIS GROWTH FREE TRIAL SAMPLE
BRING THE THRILL BACK TO YOUR SEX LIFE
OK … we get it. You sell something that [allegedly] makes your penis bigger which – as we all know – is the only requirement a woman needs to sleep with you and perform masses of oral sex.
For gods sake, who the hell is going to believe this?
Sure, there may be a few redneck retards who think this is the key to getting women, but at the end of the day, would any other brand really want these people as their customers?
Hmmmmn, maybe I shouldn’t ask that.
The thing is, this ‘hard sell’ approach actually works counter to what the brand wants to happen.
Rather than ‘make’ people react, it makes people turn away so until brands understand that repeating the offer/benefit/promise/claim 10 times in an ad only works if you do it in an ironic way [like this genius spot from FEDEX demonstrates or this brilliant interview with my first boss, Steve Henry, details] then all you are doing is advertising why people shouldn’t buy your brand, which is – as I understand – not what communication is supposed to do.
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