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Are Your Ads Missing Hope? | Wizard’s Roundtable

Johnny Molson

Business book publisher Ray Bard says all bestselling books share 4 traits:

1: A Big Idea

2: Nuts and Bolts

3: Entertainment

4: Hope

These 4 elements are applicable to your advertising, also. Nuts and Bolts seems to be the one that most people get right away. A Big Idea often shows up. But, conspicuously missing are Entertainment and Hope.

In this episode of The Wizard’s Roundtable, Chris Maddock and I recap our recent Martinis and Marketing class at Wizard Academy where we spent a good deal of time talking about Hope.

Transcription below

Runtime approx: 16 mins

Johnny:

Ray Bard is the publisher at Bard Press and they publish a business books. Now over the last 25 years, they’ve only published 32 of them, but 18 half of them have all become best sellers. You might be familiar with three of them, the Wizard of Ads trilogy, but also Jeffrey Gitomer his books. Herb Kelleher’s book called Nuts. The John Spoelstra and book called Marketing Outrageously all came from Bard Press. Now he says that these books all have four things in common. Number one, a big idea. Number two, nuts and bolts. Number three, entertainment, number four, hope and a recent class that Chris Maddock and I were teaching at wizard Academy called Martinis and Marketing. Somebody brought up those four things and how they might apply to marketing and to advertising. And what became apparent is something that Roy Williams just talked about quite a bit is that people intuitively get the idea that you need a big idea and nuts and bolts in your marketing. But they often miss the entertainment and they almost always miss hope. So on this episode of the Wizard’s Roundtable I speak with Chris Maddock and we’re talking about Ray Bard’s four main elements starting with the big idea.

Chris:

Well, I think it comes from the people that we typically encounter at our Martinis and Marketing there’s business owners that are trying to develop a a marketing plan. I think if any of the four that that they bring to the table, usually they have the big idea. Usually they understand who, who they are and hopefully what they do well. So that’s probably the easiest of them.

Johnny:

I think that’s an interesting thing about businesses is they started out with a big idea. I mean, they knew that there was a hole in the marketplace or something that they were bringing to the table that was different, but it seems that as years go on, they kind of fall into a rut of what everybody else is doing. And, and the, the goal is to break out of that.

Chris:

Yeah. And, and I, I think you’re right. I wonder if they’ve missed, if I think they lose the big idea. Maybe I think that’s perhaps in the in, in the day to day that they decide if the, you know, if it’s remember the gal that was had the the pet the doggy daycare and I think that she, the way that she put it, when she presented it to the class, she said, she was like, we’re like a hotel or hotel air for for cats and dogs. And it’s our job to make sure that their life is, is wonderful while they stay with us. But when she wrote her ads, when it got down to the day-to-day and her how she communicated that all of that was lost, it was about price. And it was about all these things that would be ghost talk about to the prospective human prospect. And yeah, I think it gets a lot lost a lot of the time with yeah, almost every example.

Johnny:

So you dig down, you find that, that thing that got you into this business in the first place, whatever that passion was and that’s that’s a great springboard for the big idea. Cause it’s, it’s, it’s unique to you. It’s unique to the business owner

Chris:

Or that I think we I saw this so many times growing up working for, for Roy is Hillel change that around on to folks from folks that don’t really have an idea or have the right idea. And it’s, it’s turning that around to what people really care about your, your, your customers really care about. Maybe that’s the big idea beyond what is something that you know, in your heart and your passion or something like that. You know, one of them, if you think back was was Nuts by, by Herb Kellaher, you know, the big idea of of Southwest Airlines and the nuts and bolts. And, and when we’re going to talk about the other two, two parts of it, that the things that most, that books and ad campaigns lack the, the, the hope and the entertainment, it’s, it’s all, it’s all in there. And yeah, that, I remember that’s a lot of the stuff that the parameters that Ray would look for.

Johnny:

So, you know, I guess for the purposes of marketing one’s business, then nuts and bolts are it’s pretty self explanatory. I mean, it, it, it’s the, it’s, it’s the stuff you do from day to day. That is the day-to-day stuff. But what’s so interesting is as far as the consumer is concerned, that’s actually not the most important thing. You know, how, how you, how you fumigate the house to get the bugs out is irrelevant to me, the fact that the bugs are out is what I’m trying to get to

Johnny:

And so to do so to get that idea across in an entertaining way because if you don’t get their attention, the rest of it’s just academic.

Chris:

I agree. I agree with that. I think that to some point you can get some nuts and bolts that out of it, the true one, the true meaningful ones that are out of folks, if you have, if you dig down and you know, that can be, you know, why is it that that you know, Johnny Rockets is that is the, the, the class burger place to go in town cause you can, you can make your own burger out of, and you can all these reasons that are, that are little more elemental than we may, we have burgers, burgers tastes good. So did having those things in there, I kind of consider those the nuts and bolts to the, the, the, we consider our, like Herb Kelleher, her one for him would be the customer’s not always right. I think that’s one of the nuts, that’s part of the nuts and bolts story of Southwest Airlines.  We’re not going to, we’re not going to cater to everybody. We’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re going to hone in onto the, to the value customer. And we’re going to cut some corners that aren’t, that aren’t gonna appeal to the to the top line airline that customer we’re gonna, we’re just straight away going to everyone was telling her you know, that’s not gonna work. You gotta, what about the first-class folks? So to me, those are as much nuts and bolts as any, anything else, but I, but

Johnny:

I agree those aren’t those still, those aren’t the important, most important things I think in making a campaign work it’s the, it’s the ingredients to the cake, but it’s not really the, it’s not what you’re, you’re not excited about the flour and the eggs. You’re excited about the finish.

Chris:

What are you excited about by cake?

Johnny:

Frosting

Chris:

I’ve not really gotten into the frosting. You say that so quick. So it’s the frosting. And I so out of our, in our class, what is the Martinis and Marketing? What, what is, what’s the prostate? What do we teach that, that is a parallel, the parallel with the frosting.

Johnny:

I think the parallel with the frosting is the the entertainment factor, the, you know, make this thing more interesting than whatever there’s a little hole to. Yeah. And then, and then you finish up with hope. I think that’s, I think that’s, that’s one of the ones that gets missed so often. You know, if you break down commercials or any kind of advertising, it usually follows the pattern of problem, product solution right there. And here here’s the problem the customer is experiencing, Hey, by the way, we’ve got this great product. And then aren’t you happy now that now that it’s done, I mean, it plays itself out almost literally in that order when you watch late night infomercials

Chris:

You’re absolutely right. And I think I didn’t know what I was combating a long time ago when when I’d have, when I have writers come in with their with their ads and I’d cut off the top third of it with obviously with the paper cutter. Yep. And it was that, that hemmin’ and hawin’ and toe in the dirt and mess around, but usually they’re setting up the problem and they’re there as Roy has always says, they’re not putting the known underwater there. They’re making, they’re putting it above water and staring at it.

Johnny:

Yeah. There, it’s a very laborious exposition. I mean, it’s just that they feel like they have to set the scene before the scene can start. And you really don’t one example I think that I like to use are when we, the Corona commercials were really, all you see is the back of a beach chair and an ice bucket. And that’s really all you need. You don’t need to go through the heavy you’ve been having a hectic day, right? Yeah.

Chris:

Like know one that’s on the, sorry, was on the beach where they just had the big tall Palm trees, the Christmas one, I guess. Yes. You have to all it is. They flip on the lights. I think it’s a 15, like they flip on the lights and the Palm tree lights up as well. And that’s it, there’s a Corona thing.

Johnny:

And you know, what’s so lovely about that is they will then use that in print. They will then use that online. They, I mean, it’s just, it’s one of these campaigns that can go across all the media and and then work.

Chris:

Yeah. It’s like a, I don’t know if you saw in it, I there’s an app called Calm, essentially. It was just a a forest scene. And then they started playing the sounds of, of rain with yeah. With the circle, which if you, which denoted perfectly, it said, don’t think anything for 30 seconds, which is, I think that’s on the, what you do on calm. And that’s the perfect way to tell that you do not say that didn’t have to be said, or you didn’t have to be instructed. I just, here you go. And you listen to the rain and you wished that it would go on for longer than that.

Johnny:

And to use that as an example, I mean, so there, you’ve got two brands that there was no need to go into, you know, call them is an app that you download with meditations on it that are daily, you know, done research by psychology. They don’t have to do any of that. Just, but so just simply show you in the place where you want to be.

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah. I would’ve, I would’ve run away from that. And had I thought of any of that and that’s, I think that’s what made me think of Peter monads, which I’ve always had people right this way because Peter adds in such an economy of, of, of space get you into into a new war. And it’s so it’s, so it does that right away. So it’s the antithesis, what what you were pointing out, it’s it, it, it has character it’s made it, it’s made up it’s you and in doing so that’s where, that’s the idea that that’s where most of those get to hope, you know, the flapper dress, it gets the idea that when you wear this dress, you’re going to be, it’s going to be, you’re going to be something else when you that’s. All of that is done in there as well. Not really a remarkable, and I hadn’t thought about those how useful those four tools can be. Every person in that class did a campaign, or at least a, a couple of ads that were I think remarkable.

Johnny:

Yeah. you know, we had a fitness trainer in there who presented his story from the viewpoint of the person who’s going out to dinner. And while his friends are all worried about the calories and what they eat, the guy just dives in. And he knew to dive in because he understood food, food, and nutrition, and how it all comes together in the parking lot. Your friends think you’re completely lost. You had a steak or a roll and a beer yet. Somehow you have the nerve to tell them you’re on track to lose weight. They don’t get it because if you want to be lean, you have to eat leafy greens, right? You leave well enough alone. The proof is in the pudding. The work is already done. All you had to do was show up day after day.

Chris:

He forecast-a-fied. You, as the, as the listener, as having already experienced his fitness his training, and you were already, you were looking back almost in a satisfied and, and post hopeful manner at your, so you’re happy at that point that you had that signed up for Jeremy’s training.

Johnny:

I mean, it is, it’s so easily overlooked as the, the, the fluff and the frosting when really it’s the thing that draws you in. And so many commercials going back to Orlando Wood’s, examples are just these sort of faceless, just an appendage coming in or something that has no human or humanity to it. And when you inject that stuff, it’s immediately magnetic. And so it’s not, you know, it’s not creative just because we want to be creative or interesting. Cause we want to win an award. It, it is it’s part, it’s, it’s a huge chunk of the fuel that makes the thing,

Chris:

That stuff I sometimes get a little too worked up with when we have folks writing classes. And I’m like, you don’t believe in this stuff. I was like, I don’t feel it that often that’s enough to get people a little way back to the main ideas. Like, I don’t believe you made a gal number of them cried out of it and wrote one of the best ads in the whole class a couple of classes ago. Cause I don’t feel it. None of us feel it. We don’t understand, we don’t get it. And she’s like, I’ve written told you everything. I was like, yeah, I don’t, we don’t anything. Yeah. yeah. And so that I think hope gets you a long way, a long way to that. And then, so you can be, it’s gonna be the whole city thing receipts as something better. And hopefully it wouldn’t be contrived and something that everybody else is doing

Johnny:

We’ll be teaching the Martinis and Marketing class again at Wizard Academy. And we certainly encourage you to sign up for all the classes there. As of right now the classes are being held virtually. They will be back at the tower again when it is safe to do so, but it’s a really good chance to get in on some of the Wizard Academy classes at a pretty good discount while they’re being held virtually. So we encourage you to go to wizardacademy.org and find out about those. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, put them in the comment box below, or you can send us an email

johnnymolson@wizardofads.com

chris@wizardofads.com

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