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Published by: Qualcunaltro AlloYogurt on Jul 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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  • introduction
  • Get physical
  • orientation
  • Billy Mays anD the Gift of the GaB
  • the variaBles of voiCe
  • seeinG what you Can’t see
  • what has the Most visual stoppinG power?
  • GoinG BeyonD siGht anD sounD into aDDitional MeDia
  • leveraGinG sensory Contrasts
  • Creative teMplates that worK well
  • suMMary
  • Keep it simple
  • how not to waste half your aDvertisinG
  • enGaGeMent: what the finanCial staKes are
  • aDvertisinG’s seCret eMotional CanCer: frustration
  • overCoMinG frustration throuGh siMpliCity
  • rules for worD play
  • Keep it close to home
  • easy Does it: the aDvantaGes of leveraGinG what’s faMiliar
  • the CoMfort zone: where the faMiliar is CreDiBle anD easy to aCCept
  • leveraGinG people’s preferenCe for CoMfort
  • taKinG into aCCount people’s Bias aGainst what’s foreiGn
  • focus on faces
  • why faCes are speCial: suBtle faCtors hiGhly relevant to aDvertisinG
  • froM theory to praCtiCe: eMotional responses to faCes
  • the quest for authentiCity
  • Make it memorable
  • DiD you see it? reCall Measures as a house of Mirrors
  • how to avoiD the risK of CreatinG unBranDeD aDs
  • relevancy drives connection
  • the CateGoriCal truth: never forGet the wiifM
  • types of Motivations: a serious Case of wantinG fun fooD
  • Being on-motivation is essential to effectiveness
  • reDefininG inDustry CateGories as eMotional MarKets
  • relevanCy CreateD By iDentifyinG with the eMotions involveD
  • always sell hope
  • happiness, inC.: leveraGinG the hope that sprinGs eternal
  • a Critique of three exaMples of sellinG Both hope anD happiness
  • Don’t lead with price
  • proBlem 1: lack of sustainaBility (surprise fades)
  • low-value perceptions (inviting contempt)
  • proBleM 5: a priCe foCus Distorts purChase
  • choices (dissatisfaction results)
  • proBlem 6: Brand loyalty at risk (pride takes a hit)
  • Brand integrity at risk (desperation detected)
  • Mirror the target market’s values
  • why eMpathy has BeCoMe MarKetinG’s new touChstone
  • the Battle of sexisM: offensive GenDer portrayals
  • Cause MarKetinG: a way to neutralize CritiCs anD MaKe new frienDs
  • Believability sticks
  • the Battle Between Belief anD pervasive sCeptiCisM
  • DefininG the types of aDvertisinG
  • what type of aDvertisinG is Most eMotionally persuasive?
  • the two enDs of the speCtruM for CreatinG persuasion
  • faMiliarity: what we Know anD liKe, we trust
  • fairness: why huMility anD speCifiCity worK wonDers
  • Desire: it’s all aBout the three ps of passion, pleasure anD purpose
  • afterword
  • notes
  • picture credits
  • index

It’s Billy and Barb, the dynamic duo. I’ve never seen my sister-in-law like
this before. I’m standing in her spotless kitchen in suburban Chicago,
watching her eyes narrow, then disappear, amid laughter so hearty that
nothing – not her head-shaking, no; nor her 13-year-old son watching her
eyes tear up over bathroom humour; nor the fact that we’ve watched this
parody of a Billy Mays TV spot for the third time in a row – can bring a stop


10 About Face

to her enjoyment. In that, Barb’s not alone. The parody, called ‘Billy Mays
Big Piece of Shit Slider Station’, is typical of both the straight-up and parody
versions of his TV spots on YouTube. The number of viewings can reach as
high as 200,000.

In fact, of the thousands of commercials that Barb has seen in life, only two
really stand out: an ad from Coca-Cola, and anything starring the now recently
deceased Mays. In Coke’s case, it’s ‘That old Coke commercial,’ where Barb
‘saw people standing in a line, connecting the world. Make the world sing…
nice. The people there: it just had, it just gave me a good feeling.’
But Billy Mays is different. When asked, ‘What works at grabbing your
attention?’ Barb tells me, ‘I hate to say it, but – loud noise. I’m thinking of
Billy, the guy who does all those as-seen-on-TV [products]. It’s obnoxious,
but the minute I hear it, it’s like, That’s him. What grabs my attention isn’t
necessarily what keeps my attention. But I look because he’s got a loud
voice. He’s got some new product worth ‘Ten times its weight in water’ or
whatever. And in response,’ concludes Barb with both a sigh and another
huge, eyes-disappearing smile, ‘I’m like, I’ve just gotta have it.’
Welcome to one of the key realities of connective advertising. It isn’t
always pretty, and it’s rarely complicated. Often something as basic as
responding to a voice (its volume, pitch and speed) can carry the day when it
comes to the first key factor in advertising effectiveness: stopping power.
Notice I didn’t say ‘attention’. Stopping power is much more commer-
cially valuable, because merely gaining attention isn’t the same as knowing
whether or not an ad grabs our attention and stops us in our tracks. Stopping
power beats surface-level awareness as an advertising yardstick because it
speaks to changing consumer behaviour.
Barb hears Billy Mays, turns to look at him – and wants to buy whatever
the guy is selling. In other words, the sound of Billy’s voice is also the sound
of ka-ching, of money being made. Why? That’s because in a world where
the mind is geared to filtering stuff out, Billy Mays’ loud voice proves to be
the perfect set-up. His distinct personality helps him carry his message effec-
tively. His TV spots aren’t really geared to rationally oriented awareness (I
recognize you). Instead, they embody emotionally oriented stopping power
(I can’t not listen, and look, and want your endless parade of $19.99 items
that promise to solve a variety of nagging household problems).

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