The biggest mistake advertisers make is they get sick of their own advertising. So they either pull it or change it. Most often before it has time to get traction with their audience.
Of course, it could take a fair bit of testing and tweaking to come up with a winning formula, but once onto a good thing, stick to it!
Two classic ads come to mind.
The first, selling home study piano lessons starts with, “They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano But When I Started to Play!”. Written by John Caples in 1926 it ran successfully for over 40 years.
It’s probably one of the most copied headlines in history.
The “Two young men” letter written in 1975 to promote subscription to the Wall Street Journal starts with, “On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men.”
It was mailed out between 1975 and 2003 and reportedly brought in $2 Billion in revenue for the Journal.
I’m sure the company executives and advertising people got heartily sick of the ads. But they were smart enough to know that if you’re on a winning horse, stick to it.
Which brings me to what’s dominating every news bulletin. The Federal Election Campaign and what’s aptly coined, the “Vomit Principle”.
Politicians everywhere sticking to their marketing message sprouting their 3 or 4 word policy slogans ad nauseam.
You’d think they’d get sick of saying the same thing at every turn. And you’d be right. So why do they do it? And how hard it is to stick on message?
Ex Greens Leader Christine Milne when asked how difficult it is for Party Leaders to stick on message replied, “Really hard”.
Party Leaders know that they can say something 200 times, then go to a meeting where someone asks a question showing they’ve never heard the message before.
Ergo, no matter how many times you repeat it, there’ll always be someone who’s missed it. So repetition is essential. Sometimes till you’re sick of saying it.
Christine called it the “Vomit Principle”. “It’s the time that you’ve said something so many times that if you say it again you’re just going to throw up is the point which people hear it.”
All of which proves hearing it once is not enough.
All successful marketing relies on a great message which resonates, repeated often enough until it penetrates the minds of your intended audience and gets them to take whatever action you want.
We’ll know what the outcome of the 3 word slogans and other policy messages will be after the 2nd July election. By then I’m sure we’ll be thoroughly sick of hearing them but like any good marketer, they know they have to stay on message or risk confusing us or seeming indecisive.
In the meantime, if you’d like help formulating your personal marketing and sales message and designing a mechanism to get it into the hands of your market, drop me a line. We can help.