9 Secrets Mark Twain Taught Me About Advertising

9 secrets Mark Twain taught me about advertising
Many a​ small thing has been made large by the​ right kind of​ advertising .​

Advertising is​ life made to​ look larger than life,​ through images and words that promise a​ wish fulfilled,​ a​ dream come true,​ a​ problem solved .​
Even Via​gra follows Mark Twain’s keen observation about advertising .​
the​ worst kind of​ advertising exaggerates to​ get your attention,​ the​ best,​ gets your attention without exaggeration .​
It simply states a​ fact or​ reveals an​ emotional need,​ then lets you​ make the​ leap from small to​ large .​
Examples of​ the​ worst: before-and-after photos for weight loss products and cosmetic surgery—both descend to​ almost comic disbelief .​
The best: Apple’s silhouette campaign for iPod and the​ breakthrough ads featuring Eminem—both catapult iPod to​ instant cool status.
When in​ doubt,​ tell the​ truth .​

Today’s advertising is​ full of​ gimmicks .​
They relentlessly hang on​ to​ a​ product like a​ ball and chain,​ keeping it​ from moving swiftly ahead of​ the​ competition,​ preventing any real communication of​ benefits or​ impetus to​ buy .​
the​ thinking is,​ if​ the​ gimmick is​ outrageous or​ silly enough,​ it’s got to​ at​ least get their attention .​
Local car dealer ads are probably the​ worst offenders--using zoo animals,​ sledgehammers,​ clowns,​ bikini-clad models,​ anything unrelated to​ the​ product’s real benefit .​
If the​ people who thought up these outrageous gimmicks spent half their energy just sticking to​ the​ product’s real benefits and buying motivators,​ they’d have a​ great ad .​
What they don’t realize is,​ they already have a​ lot to​ work with without resorting to​ gimmicks .​
There’s the​ product with all its benefits,​ the​ brand,​ which undoubtedly they’ve spent money to​ promote,​ the​ competition and its weaknesses,​ and two powerful buying motivators—fear of​ loss and promise of​ gain .​
In other words,​ all you​ really have to​ do is​ tell the​ truth about your product and be honest about your customers’ wants and needs .​
Of course,​ sometimes that’s not so easy .​
you​ have to​ do some digging to​ find out what you​ customers really want,​ what your competition has to​ offer them,​ and why your product is​ better .​

Facts are stubborn things,​ but statistics are more pliable .​

In advertising,​ you​ have to​ be very careful how you​ use facts .​
as​ any politician will tell you,​ facts are scary things .​
They have no stretch,​ no pliability,​ no room for misinterpretation .​
They’re indisputable .​
And used correctly,​ very powerful .​
But statistics,​ now there’s something advertisers and politicians love .​
Nine out of​ ten doctors recommend Preparation J .​
Who can dispute that? Or Five out of​ six dentists recommend Sunshine Gum .​
Makes me want to​ run out and buy a​ pack of​ Sunshine right now .​
Hold it .​
Rewind .​

Whenever you​ find you’re on​ the​ side of​ the​ majority,​ it​ is​ time to​ reform .​

Let’s take a​ look at​ how these stats—this apparent majority—might have come to​ be .​
First off,​ how many doctors did they ask before they found nine out of​ ten to​ agree that Preparation J did the​ job? 1,​000? 10,​000? And how many dentists hated the​ idea of​ their patients chewing gum but relented,​ saying,​ Most chewing gum has sugar and other ingredients,​ that rot out your teeth,​ but if​ the​ guy’s gotta chew the​ darn stuff,​ it​ may as​ well be Sunshine,​ which has less sugar in​ it .​
The point is,​ stats can be manipulated to​ say almost anything .​
And yes,​ the​ devil’s in​ the​ details .​
the​ fact is,​ there’s usually a​ 5% chance you​ can get any kind of​ result simply by accident .​
And because many statistical studies are biased and not double blind (both subject and doctor don’t know who was given the​ test product and who got the​ placebo) .​
Worst of​ all,​ statistics usually need the​ endless buttressing of​ legal disclaimers .​
If you​ don’t believe me,​ try to​ read the​ full-page of​ legally mandated warnings for that weight- loss pill you’ve been taking .​
Bottom line: stick to​ facts .​
Then back them up with sound selling arguments that address the​ needs of​ your customer .​
the​ difference between the​ right word and almost right word is​ the​ difference between lightning and a​ lightning bug .​

To write really effective ad copy means choosing exactly the​ right word at​ the​ right time .​
you​ want to​ lead your customer to​ every benefit your product has to​ offer,​ and you​ want to​ shed the​ best light on​ every benefit .​
It also means you​ don’t want to​ give them any reason or​ opportunity to​ wander away from your argument .​
If they wander,​ you’re history .​
They’re off to​ the​ next page,​ another TV channel or​ a​ new website .​
So make every word say exactly what you​ mean it​ to​ say,​ no more,​ no less .​
Example: if​ a​ product is​ new,​ don’t be afraid to​ say new (a product is​ only new once in​ its life,​ so exploit the​ fact) .​

Great people make us feel we can become great .​

And so do great ads .​
While they can’t convince us we’ll become millionaires,​ be as​ famous as​ Madonna,​ or​ as​ likeable as​ Tom Cruise,​ they make us feel we might be as​ attractive,​ famous,​ wealthy,​ or​ admired as​ we’d like to​ think we can be .​
Because there’s a​ Little Engine That Could in​ all of​ us that says,​ under the​ right conditions,​ we could beat the​ odds and catch the​ brass ring,​ win the​ lottery,​ or​ sell that book we’ve been working on​ .​
Great advertising taps into that belief without going overboard .​
An effective ad promoting the​ lottery once used pictures of​ people sitting on​ an​ exotic beach with little beach umbrellas in​ their cocktails (a perfectly realistic image for the​ average person) with the​ line: Somebody’s has to​ win,​ may as​ well be you.
the​ universal brotherhood of​ man is​ our most precious possession .​

We’re all part of​ the​ same family of​ creatures called homo sapiens .​
We each want to​ be admired,​ respected and loved .​
We want to​ feel secure in​ our lives and our jobs .​
So create ads that touch the​ soul .​
Use an​ emotional appeal in​ your visual,​ headline and copy .​
Even humor,​ used correctly,​ can be a​ powerful tool that connects you​ to​ your potential customer .​
It doesn’t matter if​ you’re selling shoes or​ software,​ people will always respond to​ what you​ have to​ sell them on​ an​ emotional level .​
Once they’ve made the​ decision to​ buy,​ the​ justification process kicks in​ to​ confirm the​ decision .​
to​ put it​ another way,​ once they’re convinced you’re a​ mensche with real feelings for their hopes and wants as​ well as​ their problems,​ they’ll go from prospect to​ customer .​
a​ human being has a​ natural desire to​ have more of​ a​ good thing than he needs .​

Ain’t it​ the​ truth .​
More money,​ more clothes,​ fancier car,​ bigger house .​
It’s what advertising feeds on​ .​
you​ need this .​
And you​ need more of​ it​ every day .​
It’s the​ universal mantra that drives consumption to​ the​ limits of​ our charge cards .​
So,​ how to​ tap into this insatiable appetite for more stuff? Convince buyers that more is​ better .​
Colgate offers 20% more toothpaste in​ the​ giant economy size .​
you​ get 60 more sheets with the​ big Charmin roll of​ toilet paper .​
GE light bulbs are 15% brighter .​
Raisin Brain now has 25% more raisins .​
When Detroit found it​ couldn’t sell more cars per household to​ an​ already saturated U.S .​
market,​ they started selling more car per car—SUVs and trucks got bigger and more powerful .​
They’re still selling giant 3-ton SUVs that get 15 miles per gallon .​
Clothes make the​ man .​
Naked people have little or​ no influence on​ society .​

Who gets the​ girl? Who attracts the​ sharpest guy? Who lands the​ big promotion? Neiman Marcus knows .​
So does Abercrombie & Fitch .​
And Saks Fifth Avenue .​
Why else would you​ fork over $900 for a​ power suit? Or $600 for a​ pair of​ shoes? Observers from Aristotle to​ the​ twentieth century have consistently maintained that character is​ immanent in​ appearance,​ asserting that clothes reveal a​ rich palette of​ interior qualities as​ well as​ a​ brand mark of​ social identity .​
Here’s where the​ right advertising pays for itself big time .​
Where you​ must have the​ perfect model (not necessarily the​ most attractive) and really creative photographers and directors who know how to​ tell a​ story,​ create a​ mood,​ convince you​ that you’re not buying the​ emperor’s clothes .​
Example of​ good fashion advertising: the​ Levis black-and-white spot featuring a​ teenager driving through the​ side streets and alleys of​ the​ Czech Republic .​
Stopping to​ pick up friends,​ he gets out of​ the​ car wearing just a​ shirt as​ the​ voiceover cheekily exclaims,​ Reason 007: in​ Prague,​ you​ can trade them for a​ car.
9 Secrets Mark Twain Taught Me About Advertising 9 Secrets Mark Twain Taught Me About Advertising Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 27, 2018 Rating: 5

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