WHAT’S IN A NAME? MONEY, FRIEND.
Some advertising geniuses a while ago came up with the concept that you should “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” The idea of course, is that to make people buy something, you have to make them crave it. Looking at a slab of meat isn’t what gets the saliva flowing, it’s hearing the sizzle as it cooks. Thank you, Pavlov.
Science note: Pavlov was a scientist who showed that he could get dogs who had been conditioned to equate food with the sound of a bell ringing to salivate just from hearing the bell, even if he didn’t give them any food.
Pavlov was sort of a jerk.
Anyway, the same idea works for marketing. Whatever it is, if you can convince people they need it, they’ll buy whatever piece of crap you’re pushing.
“May I hit you with this bat?”
“Well, then can I offer you an enchanted evening featuring a reenactment of a scene from legendary director Brian DePalma’s even more awesomely legendary film ‘The Untouchables’?”
“Totally worth it!” <Passes Out>
Anyway, it’s clear that whatever you’re selling has to sound way better than it actually is if you want to make money. A lot of companies have been phoning it in. Consider:
Coca-Cola’s campaign “Have a Coke and a Smile” was okay, I guess. How much more fructose corn syrup in a can would they have sold, however, if the slogan was, “Have a Coke and a Screaming Orgasm”?
McDonalds has long said, “You deserve a break today.” Fine, but wouldn’t it be better to propose, “You deserve your own private island wrapped in a bow with Justin Bieber as your cabana boy”? It’s true eating a Big Mac probably won’t really get you that, but the odds can’t be any better by NOT eating a Big Mac, can they?
Recently, driving on the Interstate, I passed (note, I didn’t “stopped at”) a motel called “The Pleasant Stay Inn”. Sounds okay, doesn’t it? The pleasant stay. Peaceful, unhurried. Fresh flowers. A friendly wave from the staff. The beds probably even have clean sheets. But still pleasant can be boring. Why not take it up a notch? “The Bitchin’ Stay Inn” or “The Rock ‘Till You Drop Inn” or “The Condemned by the Board of Health, But Still Partying, Inn”.
My father always said, “Never stay at a motel called ‘Lakeview’ because there won’t be a lake anywhere near it.” Good advice, I suppose, but I think it kind of misses the point. The Lakeview Motel doesn’t have to sell you a lake or a view to make money. It just has to make you think whatever view they DO have is something you can’t live without. Perhaps call it “Lake of Golden Egg Laying Unicorns View Motel” or “Lake That Time Forgot, But These Hot Nudist Cheerleaders Didn’t, View”.
No need to thank me, business owners. Checks made out to me will do fine.