In The Minds of Consumers – Brilliant!

On the way home from teaching a class the other day I heard what I thought was a classicly created radio commercial from OnStar.

The attention-getting premise: “Are you counting on your cell phone to be your lifeline in a crash?” Well, yeah. That’s why I don’t need OnStar, right? Maybe not. According to the commercial, anyway, a crash might cause my cell phone to go flying somewhere (under the seat, outside the car, etc.) where I can’t access it. But OnStar is readily available.

Wow. Makes sense. *Almost* makes me want to sign up for OnStar and, maybe, in a better economy I would.

I liked this commercial because it illustrates a couple of points that I try to get across to students:

1) You need to understand – *really* understand – your audience. What they think. What their objections are to your product or service.

2) Once you understand their objections – in this case, “I can just use my cell phone – why do I need your service?” – you need to come up with some “compelling reason to believe” that their objection is without merit.

Why might your target audience *not* want to buy your product or service? Give it some thought. Do some research. *Talk* (and listen to!) people who *don’t* buy, as well as to those who do.

The “creative” is obviously important. Production values are important. But – more important – is operating from a strategically grounded perspective before you even get to the point of the creative.

You need to get in the minds of consumers first to come up with an appeal that will have impact and resonance. *Then* you translate that appeal into tactics.

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