Recently I was hesitant about a social media post which showed a young cow looking at a pack of beef sticks. I asked my team if it would upset people, knowing what the beef sticks were made of. A several minutes discussion ensued where I scrutinized the message. The point was made that in today’s multi-screen world if it flops it will be quickly forgotten. We eventually went ahead with the post, and within minutes I had three texts. My friends found the subtle implication of cannibalism hilarious. These are friends who I rarely see interact with our company’s posts. All three thought I had been oblivious to the calf to beef stick suggestion when we posted it. It got me thinking: how often do we skip the “awareness” step of marketing and assume customers are ready to hear about our products without catching their attention in the first place? A rule of thumb is that a person must have an ad repeated 7 times before they take interest. But what if the ad is shocking or memorable enough to notice it the first time?
I live in the town of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. If you are reading this and are from Central Pennsylvania the name Dillsburg brought one of two things to your mind: our world-famous pickle drop, or the world’s most obnoxious car ad jingle: “We got those DEALS in DEALSburg”. It is an annoying, infectious song, and it ensures no one forgets to consider Bob Ruth Ford when they are shopping for a car or truck. The tagline or jingle has been repeated back to me many times when I tell someone which town I call home.
There are lines that should not be crossed, for instance I will never buy “Head-On” for my headache, but these lines are blurrier than most of us marketers think. We are allowed to have fun. People will quickly forget our failures. Even as I wrap up writing this post I am feeling as if it is not my best writing despite the great picture accompanying it. I am banking on you, the reader, to move on and forget it. The worst thing we can do is not try to be noticed.