Monday, September 6, 2010

It's all about You

I was writing a headline for a lawn care company a few years ago. It wasn’t exactly award winning but it got straight to the point. As I wrote “XXX repairs your damaged lawn”, I wondered if how long the ‘your’ would last. Sure enough the client came back with “XXX repairs damaged lawns”

In sweep of the red pen we had moved from a conversation between XXX and a person with lawn problems, to an announcement by the mighty XXX corporation about lawns in general, directed to the entire universe. I’m sure the line made the executives at XXX feel more important but I’m equally sure it sold fewer bags of XXX Lawn Repair.

Consumers are people. And people are pretty self-absorbed. People don’t care about ‘lawns’ they care about ‘their lawn’. Sure, they can make the mental jump from a marketers demographic to themselves, but why make them jump at all?

I’ve never met a demographic. I hope I never do. They sound large, crowded and homogeneous. But I’ve met a lot of people. People are interested in their roof, their kids education, their overflowing toilet ....

Even Qantas uses the line ‘It’s all about you.’ It’s perfect for business class travel, which should be all about the customer. Earlier Qantas advertising was much more from the ‘We’ve bought 5 new planes’ school of communication. To which most business class passengers would rightly reply, ‘Who cares?’

Being ‘All about you’ shouldn’t stop at prestige brands or luxury services. I can’t think of any product or service that can’t be better sold by honing in on the individual and solving his or her problem.

Dale Carnegie in his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’, said the sound of a persons name is the sweetest sound of all to them. Advertising can’t refer to people by name, but it can say ‘you’ or ‘your’ and get much closer to people’s hearts. And best of all, most of your competitors (see, I’m doing it now) either don’t know or don’t care that they are speaking to a demographic rather than a person.

What a simple way to make your customers feel better about your brand.

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to


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