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Innovation: Customers Speak the Language of ADVERTISING. Do You?

Advertising is our culture. In Twenty Ads that Shook The World, James Twitchell states that consumers today are more familiar with the language of advertising than that of history. You don’t believe me? Take the test. Here are a few words you ought to know about from your school curriculum. See if you recognize them and know their reference:

Advertising is our culture. In Twenty Ads that Shook The World, James Twitchell states that consumers today are more familiar with the language of advertising than that of history. You don’t believe me? Take the test. Here are a few words you ought to know about from your school curriculum. See if you recognize them and know their reference:

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vector
biochemical pathways
complex sentence
Herman Melville
federalism
ampersand
Hoover Dam
Neville Chamberlain
Reign of Terror
paradox
installment buying
Ferdinand Magellan

Now look at another list. See if you recognize these words and expressions:

Just do it
Mmmm Mmmm good
Have it your way
57 varieties
Kills bugs dead
Because I’m worth it
Still going
We try harder
Be all that you can be
Snap, Crackle, Pop
Tony the Tiger
Quality is Job 1

How did you do? I don’t know about the first list, but I am confident that you got 100 percent right the second one. If as customers we remember the headlines of the most advertised brands, we surely also remember their promises. We speak the language of advertising. Do you?

Do you deliver on your promises? The classic example is Fedex. From their site:

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“FedEx is known for its award-winning advertising and promotions. The reliability, speed, leadership, excellence and global reach that characterize FedEx are reflected in our sponsorships and emphasized in our advertising.”

Relax, it’s FedEx is the slogan. And they do deliver. I cannot remember a day when there was no FedEx — what did we do with packages that had to get there?

Wal-Mart promises (and delivers) low prices. $18,036,870,062.49 and growing. This is the amount of money Wal-Mart has saved American families since January 1, 2008.

Apple promises something, too, but it’s not explicit: coolness. If you look at all the touch points with customers — the packaging, the product design, the web site layout and architecture, the little manuals included with the products, down to the white apple stickers included in the box. It all says you are cool. And so you are.

We’ve been trained to speak the language of advertising and we are sticklers for following up with you on your promises. Do you keep them?

Valeria Maltoni • Conversation Agent • Philadelphia, PA • www.conversationagent.com

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