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The author says it best: “This book is for people like you and me. People who go to work and—using words, pictures, music, and stories—are expected to make s**t happen . . . to make the phone lines light up and the in-box fill up. Attract fans, friends, and followers. Make the cash register ring. Win the business. Close the deal. Sell something.” Joshua Weltman knows just how to do that, and teach others how to do it, too. An advertising creative director for more than 25 years and the Mad Men co-producer responsible for Don Draper’s credibility as an advertising genius, Weltman distills everything he knows about the art of persuasion into a playbook—of rules, principles, insights, insider anecdotes, and more, all tailored to the fast-changing life in the information economy. Weltman identifies the four elements of selling—one of which is behind everything from a national television campaign to an email blast. There’s the ad that makes people curious—want to know more? That creates a sense of urgency—limited time offer! That increases market share—why we’re unique, or just better. And the ad that protects margins—thank you for your loyalty. And then Weltman explains how to employ these strategies, including: the six words that win business; the four kinds of stories; what to do if your product sucks; why lying in an ad will never pay off; why information reduces doubt; how to think like a force-multiplier; why different is better than better; why to remove jargon and acronyms and reveal ideas and relationships. Advertising, Joshua Weltman argues, is a toolbox, not a tool, and used right it makes people happy. Seducing Strangers shows you how.“People often ask me questions, or ask my opinions, on or about the world of advertising. My stock response is ‘You know I play a fictional advertising executive, right?’ That’s usually used to cover the ignorance or stupidity of whatever I am about to say next. In the future I will simply refer them to Josh Weltman.” —from the Foreword by Jon Hamm
|Publisher:||Workman Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Josh Weltman is the advertising consultant and a co-producer on the hit show Mad Men. A creative director for more than 25 years, he’s worked on advertising and marketing campaigns for both global brands and boutique clients. He lives with his family in Los Angeles, California.
Read an Excerpt
Introduction The Job That Was Once Called Advertising The job was using words, pictures, stories, and music to make someone somewhere do something. In the industrial, mass-media, consumer economy of the past, the job was called advertising, and “Mad men” did it. In our modern, service-based, social-media-centric information economy, the job is called life, and everybody does it.
Once it was the job of these advertising executives on Madison Avenue—“Mad men”—to be the public champions of products and services, making businesses successful and customers happy. Don Draper always seemed to know exactly how to do it. He knew what the business goal of the advertising was. He knew how to create an insightful, persuasive message. And he had teams of experts to help him decide which media would help him do the job best.
In today’s information economy, the power to persuade remains the coin of the realm. But persuasion is no longer the job of just a creative director and a host of media buyers. Today it’s everyone’s job. People working in today’s information economy spend all or most of their time and effort trying to get someone somewhere to do something. From the CEO of a multinational company trying to establish a presence on Facebook to a teenager tweeting about a pair of awesome-looking jeans, everyone needs to be able to effectively persuade someone, whether it’s a boss or a boyfriend, a customer or a committee.
The problem is that most people today don’t feel equipped to craft messages or take action with the same confidence and certainty as Mad Men’s Don Draper. Two things confound them. First, most are a lot less familiar with the principles of persuasion than they are with the means. They’re not quite sure what makes a message persuasive, but they know how to use a smartphone to tweet 140 characters to millions of people in a second. Second, recent and rapid changes in new digital media technology make doing the job hard—even for experts who do understand the principles of persuasion. Why? Because today there are more ways to go about it than ever. Changes in media affect how we figure out the “somewhere” part of the job. And with all the hype, hysteria, big money, high-tech IPOs, consolidation, disruption, and destruction that is the digital media revolution, people who are trying to get someone somewhere to do something can lose sight of the “get someone” and the “do something” part of the job.
Lee Clow is president and chief creative officer of TBWA/ Media Arts Lab. The man behind acclaimed multimedia ad campaigns for Apple, Nissan, Energizer Battery, and Pedigree Petfoods, among others, Clow is arguably the most famous and acclaimed creative director ever. This is what he said recently when asked about the current state of advertising:
“We haven’t come close to figuring out how to use all these new-media opportunities, and most clients are very conflicted about what media they should use, why, and how. They keep thinking there’s some new silver bullet in the new-media world that will allow them to save money or find a new way to twist consumers’ arms.”
This book establishes some new communications principles to help you come up with more effective, persuasive ideas and understand where to place them in a world of changing technology and changing consumer expectations.
I never would have written this book if I had not been hired to be an advertising consultant on Mad Men. My job was to see that the show accurately depicted the process of creating ads and servicing clients. I didn’t know what I knew about advertising or how I did it until I needed to explain it to Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and the show’s writing and production staff.
In the writers’ room, Matt would constantly ask me and Bob Levinson, the show’s other advertising consultant, “What would they do in this situation?” Weiner and the other writers were trying to make drama, not advertising. He wasn’t interested in what was going through Don’s head when Don stared out the window. He was interested only in what could be seen, said, and dramatized and how it made the story better, more intriguing or surprising.
Seven years spent thinking about how to depict the process of persuasion made me think deeply about what I do to create and sell ideas that connect with and motivate other people. It made me think a lot about what is principle and what is fashion. What was it about getting someone somewhere to do something that would have been as true in the midcentury Mad Men world of Madison Avenue as it is today? And what ideas about advertising were just 1960s style?
Today every Starbucks I walk into looks like every creative department I’ve ever been in. People are writing, creating presentations, blogging, and trying to think of ideas to tweet, email, or post in order to persuade someone somewhere to do something. My aim here is to offer some proven techniques that have helped me do the same things—faster, better, and more confidently.
The goal of this book is to explain how messages that make people do things work. And it’s written for anyone expected to make something happen by using words, pictures, stories, or music.
To help me understand a client’s goals, I often ask, “It’s a year from now, and we’ve all come back into this conference room to celebrate the success of this ad campaign we’ve created. Tell me, what are we celebrating? What did we do? What happened? How did we know when it was time to stop working and open a bottle of Champagne?”
A year from now, I want to walk into a Starbucks and see someone sitting at a table with a computer and a couple of books. One is a Moleskine notebook. It’s filled with ideas, sketches, headlines, scraps of paper, bits and pieces. The other is a copy of this book. It’s dog-eared and worn. The spine is cracked. Passages are underlined, and bookmarks are sticking out all over it. And the person sitting at that table with his laptop and books has that “Please don’t talk to me. I need to get this idea down before I lose it” look.
When I see that, I’ll know I’ve done my job, and I’ll open a bottle of Champagne.
This book is for anyone expected to make something happen by using words, pictures, stories, or music.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Jon Hamm ix Introduction: The Job That Was Once Called Advertising 1 Part One The Secret Purpose of Advertising 5 The Job of Advertising Is to Make People Happy 7 Does Advertising Work? 9 The Truth About Liars 12 You’re Brought In to Back Off 17 Do You Want to Sell or Seduce? 22 Throwing Speedballs 25 Brands Aren’t Magic—They’re Math 31 One Question, Four Answers 37 Dissecting a Frog Is Easy; Making One Is Hard 41 Part Two Four Secret Ways Out of the Box 45 The Four Fundamental Questions 47 What Is It? Introductory Ads 51 The Curious Case of Soviet Jeans 53 Why Do I Need It Now? Limited-Time Offers 55 What Makes It Different? Differentiating Ads 60 A Shade Different—Belle Jolie 67 Who Else Thinks It’s Good? Mutual-Love-and-Respect Ads 71 It’s Not About Me—It’s About You 75 Going Negative in a Zero-Sum Game 81 Surviving When Outgunned and Surrounded 87 How Low Can You Go? 91 What the Hell Do We Do if Something Goes Right? 94 Part Three Secret Motives, Agendas, Traps, and Techniques 99 Choose, Align, Anticipate 101 Bottom Line or Top Line? 103 What’s My Motivation? 106 Big Ideas, Killer Ideas, and Big Idea Killers 109 Advertising Is a Toolbox: Pick a Tool 113 The Sizzle Sucks. The Steak Rocks 115 No More Content for Me—I’ve Had Enough 117 Three Reasons to Take a Job; Pick Two 122 Great Idea! Now Sell It!. . 125 Making You Work for You. 128 Show How the Idea Will Rock Their World 130 The Upside of Downside 133 They Didn’t Come to See the Props 135 You Are the Solution—Not the Problem; Act Like It 137 What Have They Got to Lose? 139 Be Willing to Walk Away a Winner 141 Final Thoughts on Presenting 143 Part Four The Secret Story of Online Seduction 145 A Medium Message 147 Building Babel One Bit at a Time 149 The Mission of Mini Media Moguls 154 Metcalfe’s Law 157 Techno Trekkers: Four Stories of One Hero 159 Excuse Me, Would You Please Get Out of My Movie? 164 Going Viral Is the Internet Applauding a New Possibility 167 Captains of Empathy 169 A Trout, a Swiss Army Knife, an iPad, and YouTube 171 Acknowledgments 177 About the Author 179
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