We assume that every plumber can plumb, right?
We assume that any A/C company can make the house warm in winter, cool in summer.
We assume that every jeweler can sell us a diamond, and a lawyer must know the law, or he wouldn’t have a license to practice.
So how do we choose who to use?
“In the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management – or marketing as we know it today – when they noticed the quality levels of products being offered by competitors begin to improve. A brand manager would be responsible for giving a product an identity that distinguished it from nearly indistinguishable competitors“
– “How Brands Were Born: A Brief History of Modern Marketing,” a story in The Atlantic, 2011
We choose the name we think of first and feel the best about. When no such name springs to mind, we type our problem into Google and a horde of names appears.
How often is yours the name that is clicked?
When the customer types their problem Into Google instead of typing your name, you get a high-cost, low-CAP click. [Conversion, Profit margin, Average sale] When they type your name, you get a low-cost, high-CAP click.
Most ads communicate information, but good ads build relationship. You want yours to be the name they think of first and feel the best about.
You want them to type your name into Google.
Boring ads are about you and your company. Exciting ads are about the customer. Show them a movie on the visuospatial sketchpad of Working Memory, the movie screen of the mind!
You can do this. Use your words.
Most ads are not written to persuade. They are written not to offend.
This is why most ads are flaccid, impotent, and ignored.
EXAMPLE: a few of you mentally raised your eyebrows at the words flaccid and impotent. You would tell me those words should be changed. Perhaps I should shorten it to say, ‘This is why most ads are ignored,’ or soften it further by saying, ‘This is why some ads are less effective than they might have been.”
It is never wise to willfully insult a person, but the risk of insult is the price of clarity.
When asked to look at a piece of ad copy, well-meaning people instinctively scan it for images, ideas, and language that might be softened.
Effective ads do not hit softly.
Effective ads have impact. They challenge your previously held beliefs and send thousands of gallons of water spewing into the air when they knock down a fire hydrant while attempting to parallel park. Fleeing the scene, they almost run over a little dog. An old lady with a funny hat thrashes the air with her walking stick and shouts old-lady curses. We are glad the little dog is okay.
- The role of Human Resources and Public Relations is to broker a lasting peace.
- In their world, harmony and empowerment and inclusiveness are the rule.
- To allow the people under their care to be criticized and disparaged is unthinkable.
- They seek peace, harmony, and happiness for everyone.
- Social Media marketers live in that world, too.
- They are doctors and nurses in a beautiful place where people receive the loving attention they deserve.
- The role of the ad writer is to be a warrior.
- In their world, differentiation and ever-increasing dominance are the rule.
- To allow the companies under their care to be blurred into their categories is unthinkable.
- They seek the never-ending growth of their client at the expense of all that client’s competitors.
- Ad Writers are carnivores in constant danger from other carnivores.
- 6. They are torn between the T-Rex who is trying to eat them and the peacemaker who wants them to be softer and more inclusive.
Duality is a reality.
Every objective has its opposite.
Every perspective has its opposite.
Advertising requires a perspective that is opposite from HR and PR and Social Media.
Ask a great ad writer for their advice on HR, PR, or Social Media, and they will guide you into a storm. Their goal is to win attention.
Allow HR, PR, and Social Media to give you feedback about your ads and they will guide you away from differentiation, blur you into your category, and make you invisible. Their goal is for everyone to get along.
Never ask a plumber to represent you in court.
Never ask a lawyer to fix your water leak.
Roy H. Williams
Thanks to Ryan Chute for contributing his research into low-CAP and high-CAP keywords.