October 1, 2018


Ever tried winking in the dark…?


The full quote, if you haven’t heard it, goes like this. ““Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”
Okay, so how do you turn on the proverbial light, so that she (and everyone else) sees what you’re up to?
Remember that saying: “The more you tell, the more you sell?” That one’s nice, lukewarm and used to be the norm, until people’s lives got busier than ever before.
Since I’m on a roll with popular catch phrases, here’s one last one: “Grab the bull by its horns”… also a good rallying cry, until someone realised that they’d get the bull’s full attention if they simply grabbed him a lot lower than the horns… And, dear reader, therein lies the rub. If you’re not getting an instant reaction, cutting through the clutter and provoking a buying response, then, you’d better stop winking. In the dark, I mean. Try my five easy tips to make sure that your brand is always in the limelight, and when it winks, everyone notices:
TIP 1: Use social media for what it truly was meant for
It’s primarily not for making sales, but rather, to get social – with your followers, with your consumers. Listen, engage, ask and you’ll discover what their pain points are, and then, help them get rid of it.
TIP 2: Be human
This is probably the most important one of all. Remember, you’re speaking to people. Sales are emotionally driven, speak to the heart, not the head. This also happens to be the cornerstone of Tip 4.
TIP 3: Come in from left-field
That’s where the fun stuff’s at. Left field means that they never saw your clever ad, Facebook post, tweet, radio ad, billboard, emailer (add your preferred media choice here) coming. Left field creates a smile in the mind. It creates talkability.
TIP 4: Be obvious, with an indisputable human truth – but for the first time only
Go back and read Tip 3, it’s okay, I’ll wait for you. So, we are coming in from left field. Great! The resulting piece of communication should have the effect of, “Ah, that’s so obvious, now why didn’t I think of that before?” For example, I wanted to show the world that I was totally obsessed with great advertising, just by using simple words that inspired an emotional response – but – words that had the letters ‘AD’ next to each other. You’ve seen the Red 31 home page, now click here << link to Red 31’s Facebook page showing my Assegai Awards judging ad >> to see how I used the concept of ‘We love advertising so much, we see an ad in everything’, along with my surname, to carry this thought through for a Facebook announcement post.
TIP 5: Love what you do, and others might, too
Passion is everything, and a lack of it speaks louder than when it’s there in full view. Passion is what saves you from becoming lukewarm, and insipid. Never let the fire grow cold, and if it does, take a break, step back, and rekindle the romance. Remind yourself of your brand promise, and do everything in your power to life up to your consumer’s expectations.

About Elton Padia

Elton is an award-winning direct response writer with over 17 years of agency experience, working on some of South Africa’s leading brands. He is the Executive Creative Director of Red 31 Advertising & Design Bureau, and an Assegai Awards judge, having judged direct campaigns in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018. To read more, visit Red 31’s home page here.