You stop at the STOP sign, but your mind doesn’t stop with you. The car on the cross street pulls away and disappears into the distance. You sit and wait for the sign to turn green.
I walk alone into an elevator and the door closes behind me. I wait and wait, but nothing happens. After a couple of minutes, I realize, “Elevators don’t read minds. I have to push a button.”
You and I have so much to remember that we often forget what we’re doing. We are the unfortunate victims of overchoice: too much to do, too little time. The problem is nationwide.
I tell you this to remind you of something that most advertisers forget: the customer is seldom paying attention. She simply has too many other things to think about. When exposed to your ad, she knows it’s there, the same way I know the elevator button is there. The problem is that she’s not thinking about it.
Every beginner’s solution is to put an “attention getter” into the ad. Bright colors, loud noises, exclamation marks, and crazy stunts are the sad little attention getters most often used. The effect on your beautiful customer is much the same as sneaking up behind her and shouting,
Is this any way to start a romance?
I vote for seduction.
I’m not talking about using sex appeal in your ads. I’m talking about enticing the customer with a thought more interesting than the thought she’s thinking. The skillful use of words is the most impressive of human powers.
The mind of the customer is a glorious thing. Every waking moment it is scanning, scanning, scanning the horizon for things of interest. The common, the mundane, the average, the predictable are ignored; the unusual, the intriguing, the fascinating are immediately spied and examined.
If your goal is to cause the customer to willingly give you her attention, isn’t the solution obvious? You must offer her a thought more interesting than the thought that currently occupies her mind.
This does not require shouting. It requires art.
-Roy H. Williams