In advertising most people make the mistake that information equals action.

If our clients, congregation, children etc could just get enough information they would be able to make the right decision or more importantly the decision I want them to make. If that were true then we would all be skinny and in great health, exercise daily, eat only the right foods and live happily ever after.

But it’s just not true.

We don’t make decisions based on information we make decisions based on emotions. We may seek information or be given information but we will use that information to see how we feel about something.


As an example, I recently worked with some doctors at an imaging center who wanted to appeal to women to have their mammograms performed at their offices.
When I sat down with them they started to dictate what they wanted the commercial to say. They gave me all kinds of info on the latest piece of equipment that they had purchased that put them ahead of their nearest competition. In fact, they were insistent on using the model numbers of this diagnostic equipment, and they wanted to make sure we mentioned all the letters behind their names and the degrees that they held.

I was just amazed – I asked them “Who they wanted to appeal to” and they replied “Women”. All I could think that information would appeal to would only be other doctors (or medical manufacturing reps) as more of ‘Bragging Rights’ rather than an appeal to draw in new clients. They wanted to market to themselves and thought that naturally women would think like them.
As I started to appeal to them to think about another approach to this they interrupted me and started to give me more statistics that I needed to make sure made it into the commercial.

I respectfully declined to take on the client. It was a no-win for me or for them. They believed that because they had so much education they would know what the best way to advertise to customers and they were looking for someone to execute their plan.
For the life of me I couldn’t grasp how the XB 501-97 would surely convince the woman looking for a mammogram that she was better off than the previous model XB 501-93 and ‘that ‘ piece of information would cause her to call right away and make an appointment.

But here’s what was going through my mind:
As I was picturing “ Who would need to go to this diagnostic center “ I was imagining a woman who was just informed by her doctor that either something didn’t look right and needed to be checked or maybe she was just due to have a routine check. Either way the first thing that occurred to me is that fear is probably the first emotion that would be felt at having “something checked”. Also I know from being married that with mammograms’ “Pain” would be right up there with fear.

So ‘My’ approach to this commercial would be to convey this message:

Don’t worry,
it will be all right,
because we understand and we care.
Loving – Caring – Nurturing

A friend of mine once asked me “ When you buy a vacuum cleaner, what are you buying”.
I said “you’re buying a vacuum” and he replied – “ No, you’re buying Clean Floors”.