“If I Don’t Go, I Don’t Get”
This ad was written in 1975 for The Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, Ohio, manufacturer of heavy industrial equipment and machinery, the latest installment (at that time) in a series of 1000 such advertising messages the company had been running since 1941 in Newsweek, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, Forbes, Industry Week, and the Wall Street Journal.
Warner & Swasey’s corporate advertising wasn’t intended simply to sell their products (although a small portion of each advertisement did provide a showcase for this purpose – an ad within the ad).
Mainly, these messages were intended to promote larger concepts: opportunity under America’s system of free enterprise, the contributions of business to our nation’s well-being, the dignity and fruits of hard work.
In the South is an old man with a rowboat who ferries passengers across a mile-wide river for ten cents.
Asked, “How many times a day do you do this?” he said, “As many times as I can because the more I go, the more I get. And if I don’t go, I don’t get.”
That’s all you need to know–all there is to know–about business, economics, prosperity-and self-respect.
It’s one thing to tell a story about your products or services, but quite another to convey your company’s values, in such a way that you affect in a positive way how people think about themselves, their community, their country. The folks at Warner & Swasey did this for over 40 years.
What’s your story? What does your company stand for?
And how effectively are you communicating this to your customers and your community?