25 cent advice for your marketing/ad campaign

Theres a bunch of cool stuff Sendhil Mullainathan talks about in the video below... I only want to highlight one point he makes. It's about BMW wanting to advertise the safety of their cars.

Car safety adverts are normally about car chasis getting slammed into walls in slow motion, or, in other words, the "you'll survive wrecks in our cars" message. BMW opted for the different "our cars keep you out of accidents" message. It's not necessarily brilliant, just a different angle on the topic.

The speaker’s punchline, and the 25 cent advice, follows: This campaign was extremely successful because BMW started with something people already believed. People already know about the value of prevention — an apple a day and all that. — and capitalizing on that knowledge, rather than teaching people something new about safety was the engine behind this campaign’s success.

In your marketing/advertising here's a simple idea that works: do a bit of a brainstorm on what people already believe about your product/industry/service or things like your product/industry/service. Collect as long of a list as possible and see what angles you can see your product from.

For example, if you're a construction company who wants to get more home renovation jobs, a sample list of what people might believe is: 
  • it’ll be expensive
  • workers will track mud through the house
  • i’ll get ripped off
  • my home value will appreciate
  • i’ll feel like an inferior man as my smooth-lotioned hand shakes the rough, calloused hands of a carpenter
  • there’s no place like home
  • i wish i didn’t have to do it
  • i feel guilty for not being able to do it myself 
  • i don’t know everything the job entails
  • early morning hammering ARGHH!!
  • a mess left behind
  • more getting ripped off and being taken advantage of
  • it’ll end up taking forever
And you can create a campaign focused on putting people's worries to rest, showcasing your above par standard of cleanliness during and after the work, and maybe bringing in a new feature to your product: the fixed price job (of course i know nothing of the construction business... just a simple example).

This isn't ground breaking stuff, but it might help you get a little insight on your message.

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