The Power Of One

I had this thought really re-enforced today when talking to a client of mine.

They were basically burying their heads in the sand saying that “We’ve always done it this way, and we always will, we won’t change because our customers don’t change.” 

Then, and I am not joking about this … “We tried that once before, about 6 years ago, it didn’t work then, so it won’t work now.”


I was shocked.
In the over 30 years I have been involved with media I have seen a lot of bad, good and mediocre ideas come and go.
Been saddled with some very restrictive “Do’s and Don’ts” in the production of a commercial from both the client, and from management in different mediums.

Here is what I have learnt…

The execution of an idea or lack of execution can either kill or complicate its delivery. But the actual idea or concept itself has to be singular. 
One idea. 
One concept. 
One theme. 
I think you get the message.

I have produced some great TV commercials, and some very sucky ones too.
I had one commercial work so effectively that it sold a very expensive multi-story house, sight unseen, by someone working on an oil rig thousands of miles away. Also, a commercial with thousands of dollars thrown at its production, and everyone involved in the commercial production ended up scratching their head and wondering about what the hell they had just produced.

I have made radio commercials that were so brilliantly simple they drove people to go the extra mile to get to the business location, other’s that just drove people nuts.

I have sadly designed websites that were so graphically slick and intense with content that people couldn’t load them due to their massive size, others so simple that sales on that website drove business up an extra 120% from what they had been.

Designing of street signage, business fronts, displays, newspaper print ads, store layouts and more.
All have either suffered from being too complicated; Few have suffered from being simplified a little.

Technology and trends move on, and so do the tastes of the public. Just because an idea didn’t work before, doesn’t mean it won’t work now.

Simplify your media messages. Just pick one theme, idea, or concept to sell – and go with it.

Don’t have multiple messages in your advertising. 
Have the product or service you are selling – highlight it, scream it from the roof. 
BUT make it just ONE!
Then, have either JUST your address, JUST your phone number, or JUST your website. 

Next time you are planning your advertising - think about your ONE core message, and only use that. No matter how tempting it is to go nuts and add in everything else that you want.

Do it once - you'll be suprised by the results.

This post was originally written by Earl Pilkington on the blog for his book, republished here because... well... I feel generous and the book was never published. Enjoy.


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