This is because the ultimate destination of any advertising message is the consumer’s brain, where judgments are made about products and services, where reason, emotion and will reside.
As simple as this sounds, here is a profound advertising truth: the act of buying is always preceded by the decision to buy, which takes place between the ears. We imagine first, then act. And nothing fuels the imagination like a good story.
Sometimes clients ask us to be “creative” in telling their story. I don’t know about you, but my response is always the same:
I don’t create stories; I uncover them. Here’s an example:
Does her story sound contrived to you? Or does it carry the unmistakeable ring of authenticity?
Credibility and consistency are essential to successful brand building.
- Intel’s use of a mnemonic device: four notes of music corresponding to the four syllables of “Intel Inside,” which has been attaching itself to our consciousness since 1991.
- Hallmark Greeting Cards’ famous slogan, “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best,” created by one of their salesmen back in 1944 and used continuously ever since.
- Tom Bodett’s promise for Motel 6 to leave the lights on for us. Unchanged since 1986.
Consistency matters. In the words of David Ogilvy*:
Scores of good advertisements have been discarded before they lost their potency, largely because their sponsors get sick of seeing them…
You aren’t advertising to a standing army; you are advertising to a moving parade. Three million consumers get married every year. The advertisement which sold a refrigerator to those who got married last year will probably be just as successful with those who get married this year…
[Consumers] enter the market and they depart from it. An advertisement is like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar and keep it sweeping.
So, for our LASIK surgeon, we’re building his entire campaign around patient stories. Here’s one of my favorites:
If you needed LASIK surgery, wouldn’t you feel good about this provider after hearing stories such as these?
Every person has a story. Every business has a story. It takes a lot of time, effort, perseverance, and patience to uncover and tell these stories. But the results justify the investment.
What’s your story? And how well are you telling it?* David Ogilvy, “Confessions of an Advertising Man” pp. 98-99