Traditional Advertising No Longer Works As Well As This Does
Traditional advertising hardly convinces me to do or buy anything, anymore. I like an entertaining or clever ad as much as the next person who’d still rather zap it via DVR, but even the good ones rarely make me do what they want.
More often, I enjoy watching an ad that makes me ask myself “and how is that supposed to me make me buy what they’re selling,” assuming I can determine what that is. I usually have no idea, the first time.
Now that I am old enough to admit that I am getting older, I prefer word-of-mouth advertising. I’m much more easily convinced that something is worth my time when someone I know speaks highly of it.
For example, I vaguely remember hearing that BBC was airing a modern Sherlock Holmes series, but I forgot all about it until a close friend raved about it more than once. I mean raved–like strobe lights, and techno music, raved. I saw the series for myself, and now I’m not sure how I lived without it.
It’s been the same with blogs, Twitter, Krispy Kreme donuts, smartphones, and most movies that don’t involve big guns and car chases.
I’m selective. I hate to waste time and money on something I didn’t choose for myself, when my better judgment told me I wouldn’t like it.
Occasionally, I’m wrong, but I rarely choose anything I end up disliking. Seeing Terminator III was my own idea: I saw the sneak preview and then saw it, again, a week later. And then bought the DVD. And then the Blu-Ray.
If I haven’t yet told you to see it, then you didn’t know me in 2003, because I evangelized it more than people who hold rallies for their favorite political candidate, and then still don’t vote.
Otherwise, I’m content to wait until everyone else tries things so I can say “I told you so,” or let them come back to me and say “Do it. We’re telling you so.”
Bless my friends and their persistent hearts. They’ve learned the hard way that there’s a huge difference between saying “I liked it” and “You should try it.” I’m normally uninterested in what someone else likes as persuasion technique, since plenty of people I like like things I’ll never like–like using the word “like” as often as I just did. Like that?
“You would like it” means the most to me when someone says it despite disliking the same thing. It’s like saying “I hated it, but it made me think of you, so I think you’ll enjoy it.”
But with more tact and sensitivity, since I have feelings… sometimes.
I don’t fault anyone who doesn’t share my preferences, because everyone’s got flaws. I just know to say “Well, Titanic wasn’t great until the ship crashed, but I can imagine what you liked about it.”