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Ban The Banner Ads - Grasshopper

Have you ever noticed all the people with banners outside your polling place on Election Day? I propose that we put away the banners and give people an unfettered choice without cajoling them to our side of the fence.

Lest you think this is only about elections, you would be mistaken.

 

How often do we engage in behavior whose purpose is to give people less of a choice?

 

Some of the most effective TV ads don’t just say “Hooray for our side.” They also let you know that there are other choices out there in case their product is not a fit for you. I’m reminded of a scene from the movie MIRACLE ON 34th STREET where a department store Santa Claus sends a product inquirer to another store because his store doesn’t have it.

 

But how does this philosophy apply past elections and Christmas shopping?

 

Our behavior is our best banner. Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” And as singer Gloria Estefan reminded us in the 1980s, “Words Get In The Way.”

 

I guess the message here is: Don’t advertise what you don’t have. Seriously, who’s going to put a chicken in every pot or deliver on the promise that their product is the only product you’ll ever need (until the “new and improved” version comes out)?

 

The deeper message is: Don’t offer advice you don’t follow. If you’ve got a banner ad that is only words on vinyl, you have no business displaying it and limiting the choices of others.

 

Your best persuader is your personal behavior. If that’s your banner, plan on getting lots of sales.

 

All the best,

John



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