Fear In Advertising Series Part 3: The Reason I Wrote This Series

Let me start off by recapping what you already learned in this fear in advertising series:

In Fear in Advertising Series Part 1 I gave you kind of a definition of the problem I see with using fear through advertising, why it works, what it is, and a few other take home points.

In Fear Based Advertising Part 2 I gave you a few examples to help clarify my thoughts and show you how it’s done in real-life so you could get a better understanding of how to actually do it.

And today I’m going to tell you the reason I started this series.

It All Started On My Way To Katies

My fiancee Katie and I were driving back to her house and from about a mile away we both noticed a little smoke coming over the trees. Neither of us said a word , but as we got closer we started seeing flashing lights everywhere.

As it turns out, a house was completey engulfed in flames. And when I mean engulfed, I mean it was literally a house-shaped fireball. It was honestly the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen.

But what I noticed was that as this house was completely up in flames…people began flocking around the area to so there and WATCH IT BURN!

Think About That For A Second…

Here is someone’s entire life going up in flames. In a fire, you don’t get anything back. Whatever is in that fire is gone forever.

Yet people were so mesmerized by the the ball of flames that they were just sitting there watching it burn.

It was entertainment for them!

So you might be thinking…”well how many people could have possibly been there”?

Well think about this. I drove for about 1/4 mile and there were cars lined up on BOTH sides of the road the entire way. And since this house sat back behind the main road with another road that led up to it, and their were cars lined up there too…I’d guess their were 100-125 cars lined up – and that’s being conservative.

Because Fear Runs Rampant In Advertising – These People LOVED It

So why were so many people lined up to see this house burning? Simple, because we’ve been conditioned to be sucked into anything “negative” like a moth to a flame.

Ever catch yourself watching something you knew you shouldn’t be watching, because you couldn’t take your eyes off it? That’s because the media and many advertisements has conditioned you to do so.

It’s the same principle.

And Since I’m On The Subject…

So you can obviously tell…I pretty much hate the fact that the media and advertisements always make us fearful instead of looking forward to the positive things in life.

Well, when it comes to copywriting – there are 2 ways to write a promotion.

Through the hard sell, or through the soft sell.

And Ray Edwards seems to have just made a post at a perfect time. 2 of his friends just came out with a book called “The Heart Of Marketing” which shows you how to get more customers using soft sells instead of putting fear in their eyes.

You can read Ray’s post about the subject and the story behind it at http://rayedwards.com/the-heart-of-marketing/

Good timing Ray!

So the lesson for today is to think of ways you could bring something positive into the life of your prospect instead of being like everyone else and putting fear in their eyes. Everybody already has enough problems in their life, you don’t need to make it worse for them.

And before I end this, I just want to let you know that an elderly lady died in that fire. In fact she was the original owner of a bar I go to once in awhile (her son owns it now) – and this happened on Mothers Day.

So as those people were lined up watching her house burn, this poor lady was inside taking her last few breaths and her son was losing his mother along with every memory they had together which was inside that house.

I thought it was the least I could do to at least take this story and help YOU out and let you know that fear isn’t the only way to sell, and show you how much fear and negativity runs rampant in our society.

Be different, do the opposite of everyone else and you’ll sell a lot more. It’s as simple as that.

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2 Responses to Fear In Advertising Series Part 3: The Reason I Wrote This Series

  1. Phillipa May 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    Thank you Jeremy,

    How refreshing to hear someone promoting good in advertising and the media and how sad that society today has been and is being brainwashed towards the negative when there is sooooo much good in the world.

    How do you fight it though? It’s just everywhere. I guess I’ll start with Ray’s blog and ‘The Heart of Marketing’ so I can at least do my incy bit to spread some good vibes in my own marketing approach.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction at just the right time.

    Have an exceptional day.

    Phillipa

    • Jeremy Reeves May 18, 2009 at 8:25 am #

      Hey Phillipa,

      You’re absolutely right. In my eyes there is A LOT more good in the world than bad, it’s just a matter of perspective and learning to see the good in bad situations. Unfortunately most people aren’t able to do that.

      A good way to fight it with our copy is to actually reel the prospect in with a fear-based headline, then subtly switch it over to something positive. That way it grabs their attention and gets more readers in, but leaves them feeling great by the time they’re done reading!

      Jeremy

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