Seth Godin says that, "Some marketers focus so hard on the facts of their offering that they forget to tell a story at all." That is no doubt true. In the mind of a consumer facts have little value if they cannot be applied to self. You can tell me all the facts in the world about the effectiveness of a bulletproof vest, but that knowledge will mean a lot more to me if you start off with, "Don't look now, but someone's about to shoot you in the chest." And there is my main point: The stories we tell can sell a product, but (as Seth also points out) they can't help a client unless our stories are authentic. I might buy the vest, but once I realize you were lying to me, I'm going to cram it down your throat. Our stories can't be lies ... but they don't have to be true.
In every line of thinking there is always a great debate that will never be satiated. Creation vs Evolution; Nature vs Nurture; Britney vs Christina; Butter Side Up vs Down. When it comes to design the debate is almost always Readable vs Artistic. Is it more important for your logo to grab someone's attention or convey what you do? Is it more important for your site to look cool or be easy to navigate? It it more important for your ad to be legible or to look awesome?
I'm going to blow right past the question of Should I Advertise and jump right into the question of How should I Advertise. (We all know we need to advertise. Except, of course, for the few of us who are just fine with mediocrity.) There are of course questions of where and when, but you know what they say... focusing on the how. This week we will take a look at advertising and how it should Be Different.
The whole idea of advertising is to sell more product (or more services)... or to raise more awareness... or... (You know what I mean.)