By Bob Hoffman.
I don’t want to be a salesman. I want to be an artist. I know it’s not easy, but it’s what I want.
If I can’t be an artist, at least I want to be helpful. I want to change things. I’ve seen the damage that crass consumerism can do. I don’t want to be a peddler. I am nobler than that.
You know what I mean, right? You agree, right
Well, here’s the thing. If you’re in advertising, you’re a salesman.
It doesn’t matter what you think you are or what you want to be. You’re a salesman. I don’t like it either.
One of the problems advertising has always faced is that there are a lot of people in business who don’t want to be salespeople.
My favorite example of the power of specificity was Apple’s introduction of the iPod. They didn’t give it the vanilla, global “World Class MP3 Player” treatment. They said “1,000 Songs In Your Pocket.” They were specific. They talked about the virtues of the product, not wooly melodramatic horseshit.
My direction to the creative teams who worked for me was always the same – be specific. Today the objective is to ignore the specific and “ladder up” the benefit.
“We don’t get them to try our product by convincing them to love our brand. We get them to love our brand by convincing them to try our product.” Bob Hoffman.
Back in high school there were people who were “heavy users” of sex. Remember them?
They often had one characteristic in common — they were promiscuous.
They didn’t just have lots of sex with one person. As we used to say, they “got around.”
The world of commerce is like that, too. Heavy users in a category tend to be promiscuous. They tend to try lots of different brands in a category. They get around.
In his book How Brands Grow, Prof. Byron Sharp gives a good example of this. Someone who is a heavy user in the fast food category might go to McDonald’s 4 out of 10 times; Subway 2.5 in 10; Wendy’s 1.5 in 10; Taco Bell 1 in 10…etc.