It’s Monday Feb 11th…
Time for some rock & roll radio…
(Gerry Rafferty, Baker Street… Big dark stadium and thousands of Bic lighters…Duuude…)
…While I write edition 2 of…
(Stage pyro, huge guitar riff with LOTS of reverb!)
Aside from my audio editing gear I also like to play with Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, video editing software etc. Creating stuff is my bag… I’ve been doing print, radio & TV advertising for 30 plus years. I don’t know what I like better, the marketing or the TOYS!
All this software is a fairly significant challenge to learn. Life is filled with challenges and I’ve had my fare share. Sans challenges, life would be seriously BORING!
In business and especially in advertising we all must adapt or die… We have to change with the times, learn new things, surmount obstacles. The Marine Corps slogan comes to mind “Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!” HOORAHH! (I can’t HEAR yew!)
Advertising any business requires digging deep for the hidden persuasion MAGIC. Sometimes it’s a thought or an idea that pops up outta nowhere (POOF!). Most often it takes extended dedication to discover that one key to success. Coming up with the BIG IDEA can be a BIG CHALLENGE.
If you read the previous edition of MAGIC AD you’ll recall I revealed the following…
Bob’s Magic Ad Formula
1) EMPATHIZE With Their Pain, And EMPHASIZE It.
2) Come to Their RESCUE in a UNIQUE WAY.
3) PROVE You’re the ONLY Choice.
4) Make An Offer that’s EASY TO ACCEPT.
5) Give Them ONE SIMPLE way to respond.
5 tested steps to making any sales message work like MAGIC. Radio, Print, TV… Whatever.
This is the formula I rely on to make powerful advertising messages for my clients. Last time I explained step 1.
Today I’ll show you step TWO….
“Come to Their RESCUE in a UNIQUE WAY”
Often finding the “Unique selling proposition” for a business, product or service is THE most difficult part of the advertising process. If you decide to skip over this aspect of your advertising you’re likely kissing most of your ad budget goodbye! This step often presents the average advertiser with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. However, you MUST “Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!”
Most marketing folks know what a USP is but if you’re unfamiliar, I’ll explain… Basically it’s what makes your business different from others in your category… If you sell Jet Packs, you automatically have a totally cool USP! I don’t know of anyone selling them in the general market (If you do I’LL TAKE ONE!)
It’s a bit tougher if you’re a dentist, a plumber, or a lawyer. MOST folks simply give up on this surprisingly CRUCIAL step. BAD IDEA!
Remember the old Folgers Coffee commercials with Mrs. Olsen? “It’s MOUNTAIN GROWN!” That was the tagline they used to express how they were different from other coffee products.
Well duh!!… ALL COFFEE IS MOUNTAIN GROWN!!… If you were a coffee plantation owner you’d have been screaming that at your TV (If you HAD a TV way up there in the mountains!) The trick is, Folgers was the FIRST to SAY it. After that they were the ONLY ones that COULD say that. No one else dared copy it. So in effect they took something silly from out of no-where and used it to express their DIFFERENCE. (Even though these spots were more in the branding vein, the agency still thought it necessary to come up with a USP and follow the problem solution formula, interesting.)
Here’s another more contemporary example…
I had the opportunity to consult with a financial advisor just as he was about to advertise on the radio for the very first time. Financial advisors are one of the TOUGHEST businesses to advertise. They are saddled with really awful compliance restrictions, by law they can’t say “We’re the best” They can’t use testimonials, they can’t make any claims! It’s like the head of the FTC had a bad experience with a financial advisor and they want pay back by passing laws against them!
This financial advisor was about to jump in the deep end without water wings! We already had 4 or 5 of ‘em on the air at that time and in my opinion this guy’s ONLY hope was a STRONG USP! I felt sorry for him. He was a toddler about to drown in the deep end! (Back then, I dare not speak the truth. I still worked for “THE MAN”.)
So I ambushed him in the hallway and asked, “How are you different from all the other financial advisors?” He looked at me with a blank expression (No doubt wondering who the heck I was) and said “Um, I dunno… I guess I’m the same as the rest of ‘em.”
I told him that just wouldn’t do. (No magic.) So I delved deeper. I asked “What’s the process from beginning to end with new clients walking in your door for the first time?” He proceeded to explain it to me… “Well, they come in and sit down with me, my partner, and our economist and we go over their materials and…”
I stopped him. “Wait… Did you say ECONOMIST?” He looked at me innocently “Yeah…?”
I threw my hands up over my head and danced “THAT’S IT! We found it.. Money in the bank…”
He stared back at me with question marks in his eyes… I continued “How many financial advisors actually have an ECONOMIST right there to consult with face to face?”
His eyes lit up… “Oh… I guess that IS unusual…”
In just five minutes we had his Unique Selling Proposition (I think we broke a record, it’s almost NEVER that easy!)… At his behest I wrote his copy. The ad started out like this… (Notice, I opened with step 1. the PAIN… I also QUALIFIED our target prospect…)
“2009 was tough on your portfolio. Despite that, you’ve built a substantial nest egg. And you’re close to retirement. A misstep now could spell disaster. You need to get the bigger picture. What do folks nearing retirement need most? The answer is PERSPECTIVE!”
The copy beats the “Big Picture” drum throughout… I finished with this…
“When was the last time you consulted with an economist? Get the best possible view of the hazards ahead… Call blah blah..”
We found the MAGIC… It indeed WAS money in the bank… His spot KILLED it. Even on a station already heavily overloaded with financial advisors. The reason was absolutely because of his previously undiscovered USP.
(Cash register rings repeatedly, Stimpy sings “Happy Happy Joy Joy!”)
So my advice? Find what makes you or your advertiser different. Can’t think of a USP? MAKE SOMETHING UP! No, don’t lie… Just keep digging until you find it. Whether or not you have a good USP is virtually ALLWAYS the difference between mediocrity and a FAT BANK ACCOUNT!
(Mopping brow…) There.
That was step two…
Hope you got some perspective… (Oh.. my…)
Next MAGIC AD we’ll discuss step 3 of Bob’s MAGIC AD FORMULA…
“PROVE You’re the ONLY Choice.”
As always thanks for the work you’ve thrown my way I really do appreciate you!
(If you have a friend that could really use this information PLEASE spread the love & forward it to them!)
Also, if you think I’m out of my mind please come right out and say so…
(Won’t be the first time!)
I really do LOVE feedback, even if all you do is make funny raspberry noises.
Until next time! (Cape flourish, puff of smoke.)
P.S. Need help with a project? Give homie a hollah, I’m down wid it!
Thanks for reading, Comments are welcome!