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Truth – or consequences

From Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads:

Having been suffocated by hype for the past 40 years, we hunger today for statements of fact. Seven years ago I wrote a chapter called The 12 Most Common Mistakes in Advertising. Among those mistakes was, #4. Unsubstantiated claims. Advertisers often claim to have what the customer wants, such as ‘highest quality at the lowest price,’ but fail to offer any evidence. An unsubstantiated claim is nothing more than a cliché the prospect is tired of hearing. You must prove what you say in every ad. Do your ads give the prospect new information? Do they provide a new perspective? If not, prepare to be disappointed with the results.” Today I accelerate that statement: If you would persuade today’s hype-resistant customer, you must learn to make fact-based statements in your ads. Specifics are more believable than generalities.

“You must prove what you say in every ad” and in every positioning line.

If I hear one more station drone on about having the “best mix” with the “most music” that’s “the station everyone at work can agree on” I’m going to scream.

We violate this principle every day.


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