In a TED video I watched yesterday on the state of education, Sir Ken Robinson mentioned something pretty profound. He said most people are often “good at something they don’t really like doing.” His point being, that mom-ism, “If you do something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” His broader point was students today are broadcast to, not engaged, and that’s why education is in such a sorry state.
I was mowing the lawn last night and thinking about this as it relates to advertising and marketing. With media exploding into more and more, always-on devices (ding-a-ling, Good Will on the phone), and those devices containing advertising, the bombardment of selling is growing exponentially. Moreover, that selling is being done by more craft-less people, creating the advertising equivalent of fast food — poorly constructed and not good for you. (Ads by SEO kids, videos by moms.)
How to sell.
As a young ‘un in the ad business I drafted an article for Adweek that suggested people read ads to be: educated, entertained or to see something they’ve never seen before. I think this still applies. We are so inundated with selling messages today we shut down. Ingest too many antibiotics and you become immune. Hear the word “quality” too many times and you become similarly immune.
Our job as marketers is not to say the same things with new messaging devices, it’s to educate, entertain and present the artful unseen. (In the 70’s my dad Fred Poppe used to call this “engagement.”) Engagement starts with getting someone to let down their message defenses. My ramble. My peace! Happy 4th.