Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Advertising Is A Shout, Building Reputation Requires The Whisper

Long after a shout is forgotten, the whisper is remembered

Marketing today often consists of little more than the equivalent of shouting on a street corner, with shouters believing the loudest, and most repetitive, win.

When you shout, people tune you out.

In a culture saturated with messages screamed at prospects from every direction, using superlatives such as "better", "best", "number one", "leading", "favorite", "great", "new", "unique", "low price", and so on, it's no wonder that people have evolved highly sensitive and effective BS indicators.

In contrast, when you whisper, people are forced to pay attention, to lean in, to become engaged. 

To whisper is to exchange valuable, privileged information, to communicate intimately, emotionally and strategically, and to make yourself heard as human rather than as corporate, personal rather than abstract, all without yelling yourself hoarse.

An example:

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, or IPA, annually hosts the Best of Health Awards in London.

Among recent winners in the Individual Press category is this for Waxsol Ear Drops.

Waxsol's elegantly framed demonstration of user benefit - No Need To Shout - rather than a function based explanation - such as "ear drops to remove ear wax" - helps this product brand stand out amid competitive noise as the message is counterintuitive and unexpected.

Another benefit for product marketers, a brand message such as Waxsol's is more likely to be circulated among friends and family through social media than are conventional sales pitches, or shouts, as again the message is counterintuitive and unexpected.

Demonstrating the power of the whisper.

And why the whisper is exponentially superior to an advertised shout.

Superior, as when shouts are long forgotten, the whisper is remembered.

Often in one telling.


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