How does your client interpret you?

Posted on 12 September, 2017 by Paul Walden

Efficient advertising doesn’t tell people what to think – it inspires them to think themselves, directing their train of thought so that they always arrive at the conclusion you want them to reach. That way, people take ownership of the ideas that you plant. And, lo and behold, once they see an idea as their own, they will be reluctant to give it up – because that would mean changing their minds.
This is important: the art of advertising doesn’t primarily concern companies or products. It concerns people and their unique mindsets.
Take the famous case of the big sand sale for example. A company hired a copywriter to brand their sand. The copywriter asked what their strongest selling point was, but was told that their sand unfortunately was much the same as the sand sold by their competitors.
It looked like it was going to end in tears.
Until the copywriter realised that the target group didn’t know that sand, as a matter of course, is washed with live steam prior to being sold. Bingo! The copywriter created a campaign trumpeting the hygienic qualities of sand washed with live steam, effectively claiming ownership of a generic selling point that no competitor had bothered to communicate to their target group. Suddenly, the product was the “ORIGINAL washed-with-live-steam sand”, and anyone else who dared use the same sales pitch would be perceived as a less trusted copycat. 
Bottom line: it takes understanding of people to create efficient advertising.
This is why, way before I put pen to paper, I research and analyse your product, keeping the needs of your customer in focus. I then single out the strongest selling point, develop a creative concept and dress it in language that your customer identifies with.
You need only cast a cursory look around the arena of contemporary advertising to see that most advertisers don’t do this – or do it very poorly. Catchy phrases abound. Strategically strong concepts rooted in the customers’ reality don’t. This is because lots of creatives and marketing managers live in Advertising Land, where you can sell anything with rhymes, bosoms and cute puppies. Don’t go there. The place is already crowded and you’ll drown in a sea of mediocre concepts that work only if they are backed by huge media budgets, nagging people into submission.
Respect your customers by finding out what actually matters to them, and then create targeted advertising that tells them what they want to hear in the language that they speak. You will be amazed by what the right words in the right place can achieve.