You sit, knees slightly curved, sand salting your feet and hands. No discernable border between blue sky, and blue water. From where you’re perched, the beach is yours. If God has made a more perfect place, you can’t imagine where it would be.
You’ve seen this commercial before. A hand reaches for a Corona from behind an umbrella, a logo appears, and it all fades to black.
If you can show me a version of me in the future, you’ve tapped into something powerful. And all you really did was bypass the unnecessary parts.
Most advertising follows the same path: Problem > Product > Solution.
- Here’s the problem the customer is experiencing.
- We have a product to help.
- Here’s what the solution looks like.
There’s nothing structurally wrong with that formula. You’ve shown the customer you understand the pain they have. You introduce them to the product. Then show them how happy their life can be.
But this also forces you to start from the negative. “Oh no… that tomato you sliced is all over the place!” “Oh no… you’ve been in an accident, it’s the worst thing ever.” “Oh no…another diet plan that didn’t work.”
It’s accurate, but not the ideal first impression. I don’t need to be told my life is stressful and I need a beer.
Instead of opening with a dark scene, try to future-fy your ad.
Just show me enjoying the Corona on the beach. Nothing else.
“Tonight, you’re having dinner with your family. Your car went from work to the driveway without trouble …because you took it to Melvin Mechanics. The only car mechanic with the 8-month no breakdown guarantee. Melvin is so good, he promises your car won’t break down for 8 months after a Melvin Miracle Tune-Up. Pass the chicken and sleep well tonight. Your car WILL start tomorrow.”
When you future-fy your ads, you leapfrog the messiness of reminding me of the negative. You put me in the place where I want to be (and you want me to be).
Instead of saying “losing weight is hard, but we have a solution…” Try:
“You look fantastic because you already took these steps.”
Instead of saying “running a business is confusing,” show me what it looks like when I don’t have to worry about the confusing stuff.
Instead of saying “smoking is bad for you and it makes your teeth yellow…” Try this:
“Today you took a deep breath and for the first time you could smell the coffee in the next room.”
What might your business say if it were to show me what my world would be like in the future? AFTER I’ve used your product or service?
Write something and send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll happily share some thoughts and ideas. This might not work for every business, but it should force you to tell your story through the lens of what’s in it for your customer.
Remember: Customers don’t buy products. They buy what a product does for them and/or how it makes them feel.