FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Roy Williams: Hello, everybody. It’s September 10th, 2018, and boy, do we have a show in store for you.
Daniel W.: Yes. Things. There will be things.
Roy Williams: Things. Now, 10 of you sent in questions, one of which was Kevin asking about the door in the whiskey vault.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Have you already responded to that?
Daniel W.: Yeah. I’m trying to get the plans for it. I took photos of it, but they don’t show much.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Basically, the door in the whiskey vault, because it’s full of books, that’s a really heavy thing, he just have some regular piano hinge on one side, and then you have a big wheel-
Daniel W.: Holding the weight underneath.
Roy Williams: Under the weight, so it actually rolls on a wheel. The wheel is the wheel that you would put on a furniture dolly.
Daniel W.: Right.
Roy Williams: It has the ball bearings.
Daniel W.: Right. It turns in either direction.
Roy Williams: The big ball bearing wheel, and it has a rubber on the two big steel if we have to put the rubber on it, and so it didn’t lose, but it rolls on the wheel. It’s no big deal.
Daniel W.: There we go.
Roy Williams: All right. He’ll send you photos and detailed plans that he-
Daniel W.: Fancy photos.
Roy Williams: Scribbled on the back of a napkin. Let’s go straight into the first question.
Daniel W.: All right. I have a new client called Centennial Foodservice. Their primary business is wholesaling meat and seafood to restaurants but they also have a retail counter for the general public and have had this for 40 years. This is called their “Cash and Carry.” The client is considering changing the name of the counter and has asked my advice on coming up with a more relevant and interesting name.
Do you have any pointers for me on how to go about naming a business, or in this case, a part of the business? Alison Abrahamson.
Roy Williams: I have such incredibly good advice.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: By the way, is it Abrahamson or we’re going to pronounce it-
Daniel W.: I just guess.
Roy Williams: Abrahamson.
Daniel W.: Abrahamson.
Roy Williams: See, it could go either way.
Daniel W.: It could go either way.
Roy Williams: At some point, anybody in the history of that family may have decided to make the H silent.
Daniel W.: That’s true.
Roy Williams: We need to know, Alison, you need to make sure that Daniel knows the correct pronunciation.
Daniel W.: We need to sleep at night.
Roy Williams: Yes. Now, the good news is, when it comes to naming, I’m going to show you something that I’ve been following literally for almost 20 years and I’ve never really talked about it before. Alison, I’m glad you brought this up. Let’s look first at this.
Daniel W.: A major fallacy in naming is that your name should explain what business you’re in, or what your product does, but this notion assumes that your name will exist at some point without contextual support, which, when you think about it, is utterly impossible. Names appear on websites, storefronts, business cards and products, and in advertisements, press releases, news articles and conversations. There is simply no imaginable circumstance in which a name will have to explain itself.
The descriptive naming idea ignores the fact that the whole point of marketing is to separate yourself from the pack.
Roy Williams: Here’s what’s crazy, Daniel, is you blur yourself into the category. Whenever you call it, whenever you tried to describe what it is you do there.
Daniel W.: Right.
Roy Williams: You see, but that’s everybody’s instinct.
Daniel W.: Descriptive names blur you into your category and make you indistinguishable from your competitors. Can you imagine what these people had to endure? Virgin Airlines, it says, “We’re new at this.” The public wants an airline to be experienced, safe and professional. Investors won’t take us seriously and religious people will be offended. Caterpillar, why would we name powerful equipment after a creepy-crawly bug that’s easy to squash? Why not bull or workhorse?
Caterpillars destroy crops, responsible for famine. Banana Republic, God, no. That’s a derogatory cultural slur. We’ll be picketed by people from small, hot countries. Oracle. Oracles were unscientific and unreliable and foretold death and destruction. Only a fool would put their faith in an Oracle. Besides, it sounds like an orifice and people will make fun of us. The Gap, are you kidding? The word means something is missing, incomplete, in need of repair.
Then, the Generation Gap, it’s a negative thing. We want to sell clothes to all generations.
Roy Williams: Now, here is the takeaway, prepare to be amazed. There’s a company called Igor International, and I learned all of that from Igor International about 20 years ago.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: Now, if you go to igorinternational.com and think of that-
Daniel W.: I’ll put the link to it.
Roy Williams: They took their own advice.
Daniel W.: Yes, they did, Igor International.
Roy Williams: Igor International. Igor was who? The most famous Igor is the assistant to Dr. Frankenstein.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Dr. Frankenstein and Igor, the assistant, he’s the prototype for the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Daniel W.: Right.
Roy Williams: Now, at igorinterational.com, they have a free naming guide. It’s really remarkable and after I found it, I couldn’t find it again. If you can find it, we’ll give you a link to it. If you can’t find, I went ahead and downloaded it as a PDF.
Daniel W.: Yeah, I’m going to put the link to that PDF download underneath this video.
Roy Williams: Okay.
Daniel W.: You can just click right on it.
Roy Williams: There will be a link to the PDF. By the way, in the PDF download, it has contact information for Igor International. I’m not trying to take credit for their stocks, because I really do admire these people. I think they really, really have some remarkable insights into naming. This is like, it’s a 20-page guide, but it’s a real easy read. It has, I think, 18 or 20 different things to always do and never do. I can give you lots of examples of them.
Daniel W.: That’s helpful.
Roy Williams: Yeah. In other words, it’s one of those things where they actually deliver some really, really valuable information, and it’s not just baiting to try you to hire them. In other words, they are proving how good they are by telling you how to do it yourself. If you’re a huge company with just tons of money, then we go, “Yeah, we don’t do it ourselves. Let’s hire those guys.” I admire them-
Daniel W.: Yes. People give everything away.
Roy Williams: Exactly. They do that. I’ve always loved these guys, and when someone searches about naming, I always give them a little bit of information that I’ve got from Igor International.
Daniel W.: Nice.
Roy Williams: Those were my go-to guides. They’ve never heard of me though. It’s like, I’ve admired them for 20 years. How do they know I exist, probably?
Daniel W.: You don’t like to send them fan letters or?
Roy Williams: No.
Daniel W.: Okay. Roy, I’m asking a question that refers to a point you made in a webcast way back in around August of 2015. You had brought the subject of effectively using tripwires and the opportunities to use things like tripwires, word flags, for examples, in commercials where clients are looking for a more direct response to their message and not just using lost leaders. Do you have any examples or advice for writing campaign ideas, using tripwires, that will raise eyebrows and gain attention?
Creating ads that may create haters as well as delivering tremendous results? Chris Aparicio.
Roy Williams: Now, word flags are what I put in radio ads simply to give the reader, the listener, the viewer, whether there’s a TV ad or a radio ad, or even a billboard, it doesn’t matter. It’s just it gives the reader something to connect to you with, and when they met you, then they go, and they say it to you, and it’s an indicator that they heard your ad. They’re not telling you this-
Daniel W.: It’s not like saying, “Come in and use the word, blue, and we’ll give you 30% off”?
Roy Williams: It has to be something that makes them feel clever to say it to you.
Daniel W.: Like, they caught up on it? Like, they were in on the joke?
Roy Williams: Right. They’re in on the joke. The very, very first time I did this, the very first year I wrote ad, this would have been 40 years ago, and it was for Bethel Autobody. As a little bodyshop, and I had a guy named Joe Fredbob, and Joe Fredbob was an imaginary talk show host that was very abrasive. People would call in and ask Joe Fredbob some insane question. He would get frustrated and hang up on them and say, “We seemed to be having technical difficulties.”
Then, another person would call in and ask a question about a bodyshop. They just had to record something and it gets squirrelly and crazy things will happen at the very end. The third person would call in and ask a question, and I used this four or five years ago. Thirty-five years after I wrote it, I used it again in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it was just as big a hit the second time. This was the word flag. How much should a hamster-
Daniel W.: I was going to say that. That’s why I’m thinking of them.
Roy Williams: How much should a hamster weight?
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: They’re like, “What?” It’s like, “Well, I got one that’s up to 22 pounds. I think maybe it’s a wolverine.” You can imagine everybody that saw Danny Burton, the owner of Bethel Autobody, go “Hey, where do you keep that hamster?” They say, “Do you think maybe it’s a wolverine?” They would just say those stuff and he goes, “My gosh, the people who have heard that ad that would never in a million years ever say.”
In online marketing, that’s very often called the tripwire, not exactly, but it’s like the idea of a tripwire. It’s something that just … Well, anyway, you get the idea. Are you ready to do this? Are you ready to do this?
Daniel W.: Yeah, bring it on.
Roy Williams: All right. The wizard’s answer will follow the next question.
Daniel W.: Well played. Well played.
Roy Williams: We’re going to wrap that idea into the next-
Daniel W.: Into the next answer of the next question.
Roy Williams: You’re going to be ready for this. Daniel does not know what we’re getting ready for.
Daniel W.: I have no idea.
Roy Williams: Daniel has no idea.
Daniel W.: All right. From Robert K. Noble, I have a client I’m working with named Fossum Electric, rhymes with possum. Yeah, I got it on, who provide a wide range of electrical services to residential and commercial markets. They have a limited budget, but they do have some money to play with. Electricians are hired primarily by an external trigger. Something goes wrong with your home or your business and you need it repaired, or where you’re perhaps planning a renovation or a build.
Either way, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of romance or an emotional component. What is the best route to take with a client with a small budget?
Roy Williams: Okay. Small budget, you’re going to need a highly memorable campaign and that means you have to pre-sell it to the client. You have to say, “Hey, look, now, I can name all of the objections to the thing I’m about to suggest. Please understand.” You’re going to be hesitant for this reason. You’re going to be hesitant for that reason. You’re going to be hesitant for this reason because it’s so crazy and so out there and you’ve never heard anybody do anything like this. It’s how you stretched a modest budget to get major results.
Daniel W.: Make a bigger impact.
Roy Williams: You can make a huge impact with pretty modest money if you just have the courage. Now, do you have the courage to even consider something that’s the craziest thing you have heard? If you presell it right, you’ll go, “Okay, you can blow me away for crazy. I’m ready for crazy. I understand why crazy maybe make sense.” If you don’t pre-sell it, they’ll shoot it down and once they shoot it down, they never backtrack.
You can’t talk them into it after they’ve decided they don’t like it. You have to make them open-
Daniel W.: They simply just do it and they go, “What do you think?” It’s too late now.
Roy Williams: They’ll never going to like it.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: You have zero chance. You have to pre-sell it, but then, I was once in the second grade. Were you ever in the second grade?
Daniel W.: I think for a couple of days, yeah.
Roy Williams: This is a thing that it required to learn when you’re raised in our part of the US in the second grade. Now, do you remember Comet?
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Do you remember the little song that goes with that?
Daniel W.: No.
Roy Williams: Comet. It makes your lips turn green.
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: Comet. It tastes like gasoline. Comet. It makes you vomit, so get some Comet and vomit today.
Daniel W.: I can’t believe, but I’ve not heard that in ages.
Roy Williams: All right. Are you ready?
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: All right. Are you ready?
Daniel W.: Bring it on.
Roy Williams: Awesome Fossum.
Daniel W.: Awesome Fossum.
Roy Williams: We got Awesome Fossum. Now, these are literally like 10 seconds, possibly, 15 seconds. Are you ready?
Daniel W.: Okay, bring it on.
Roy Williams: Now, I’m assuming that in Canada they have 10 second or … Maybe I thought this was Canada. Is this Canada?
Daniel W.: I don’t remember which one it came from.
Roy Williams: Anyway, they’re probably a 10 second or a 15-second radio ads available on the market. We’ve done a small budget, right?
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: Are you ready?
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: Now, it opens up with just somebody saying, “Do you need an electrician?” Possum. That is not our name. It’s Fossum. With an F like fame. Fossum. We’re really awesome. Don’t be a possum, call Fossum, today. What do you think?
Daniel W.: That’s so ridiculous.
Roy Williams: is it? How many times did you have to hear that? Everybody, listen.
Daniel W.: One, just one. Don’t be a possum.
Roy Williams: Every Fossum employee. Listen, if you have the male components that God gave a mosquito.
Daniel W.: I would be wearing a shirt that said, “Don’t be a possum.”
Roy Williams: No, you wrapped your trucks with the Awesome Fossum.
Daniel W.: Yeah, Awesome Fossum.
Roy Williams: Awesome Fossum. You wrapped your trucks with the Awesome Fossum because everybody that you see will go, “Do you need an electrician?” Possum. Possum, let’s just sing that again. Are you ready?
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Possum. That is not our name. It’s Fossum. With an F like fame. Fossum. We’re really awesome. Don’t be a possum, call Fossum, today.
Daniel W.: I feel like I’m in Annie the Movie, the musical.
Roy Williams: Yes. Now, what happens is, can you imagine every customer is going to go, “Possum.” You’re going to have to buy
the domain name Fossum electrical.
Daniel W.: Right, and the Awesome Fossum.
Roy Williams: Yes, because, listen. Now, listen, for real, for real. I’m not making this up. If an electrical company came to me in the name of Fossum, right? I would charge them at least 100 grand for what we just gave away for free.
Daniel W.: There you go.
Roy Williams: Now, here’s the danger of that. Because these people have to go sell this absurd idea, and somebody didn’t fly several hours to get there to hear the presentation-
Daniel W.: Right. It didn’t caused them blood money.
Roy Williams: Yeah, it didn’t caused them crazy money, but I’m going, I really hope you guys can sell that. Number one, I hope you have the courage to even attempt it and even more than that, I just hoped Mr. Fossum has the courage to freaking do it because this is a game changer.
Daniel W.: It would be.
Roy Williams: It’s a game changer.
Daniel W.: Absolutely.
Roy Williams: Be the most famous electrical company-
Daniel W.: Think of a story line you can do.
Roy Williams: Be the most famous electrical company in North America.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Am I right?
Daniel W.: Yeah, absolutely.
Roy Williams: Tell me I’m right.
Daniel W.: Roy, in the past, you’ve described the importance of storytelling when it comes to marketing as well as positioning a business. What are your latest perspectives on the subject?
Roy Williams: Well, my latest perspectives on the subject are, that I’m even more convinced of it than ever. More than ever.
Daniel W.: There you go.
Roy Williams: We’re going to look at something now, are you ready? This is going to be fun. Do facts work better than stories?
Brian: A car is a car. It won’t make you handsome or prettier, or younger. If it improves your standing with the neighbors, then you live among snobs. A car is a steel, electronics, rubber, plastic and glass, a machine. In the end, may the best machine win. Subaru. What to drive.
Roy Williams: Now, when those ads came out, I absolutely love those ad. I’m going, “This is the greatest ad I’ve ever seen in my life. This is so audacious.” Let’s look at that script. Let’s read that too.
Daniel W.: Brian Keith, a car is a car. It won’t make you handsome or prettier, or younger. If it improves your standing with the neighbors, then you live among snobs. A car is a steel, electronics, rubber, plastic and glass. A machine. In the end, may the best machine win. Subaru. What to drive.
Male: Making a sports car, it seems mandatory to mention how fast it can go. Instead, why not mention the things you shouldn’t mention about a sports car, a strong weld, over 24 safety features, all-wheel drive, engineering that endures? Still, if it’s speed you want, we promise, with the Subaru SVX you’ll easily be able to go as fast as the law allows. Subaru. What to drive.
Roy Williams: Anybody that says, “Gee, I want to buy a sports car that will go as fast as the law allows.”
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: In junior high, you know what I’m saying?
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: That’s a guy wearing a pocket protector. Let’s look at that exactly. Let’s look at the script.
Daniel W.: That’s hard, do I have to read it?
Roy Williams: You do.
Daniel W.: Making a sports car, it seems mandatory to mention how fast it can go. Instead, why not mention the thing you shouldn’t mention about a sports car, a strong weld, over 24 safety features, all-wheel drive, and engineering that endures? Still, if it’s speed you want, we promise, with the Subaru SVX you’ll easily be able to go as fast as the law allows. Subaru. What to drive.
Roy Williams: Now, I’ve got three different problems with that script. Let’s put it back up there so I’m going to let people see this. Number one, it has over 24 safety features, which is just another way of saying it has 25 safety features, right?
Daniel W.: Yeah, exactly.
Roy Williams: Engineering that endures. I don’t know what that even means.
Daniel W.: It doesn’t mean anything.
Roy Williams: Does other engineering not endured? Does the engineering disappear? I don’t get that. Now, if it’s speed you want, you’ll be able to go as fast as the law allows.
Daniel W.: Or as your mom will let you.
Roy Williams: Exactly. The biggest problem I have though is to go, we’re going to say some things we shouldn’t say. For the love of God, if you knew you shouldn’t have said it, why did you say it? You know you shouldn’t say that, but yet, you did. What were you thinking?
Daniel W.: The weird thing is, it’s acting like they’re being rebels. They are talking about obeying the law and listening to safety.
Roy Williams: It gets worse. It gets worse.
Daniel W.: No.
Roy Williams: This, right here. The third ad in the series uses what’s called a power shot. That’s when the camera is low and it’s looking upward instead of somebody talking to you.
Daniel W.: You feel like you’re being lectured to already.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Whenever someone is wagging their finger at you and they are literally looking down on you, it makes you feel like you’re being looked down on.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Male: A luxury car says a lot about its owner.
Female: Mine says, I’m witty beyond belief.
Male: Mine says, I’m more Europeanish.
Male: Mine says, I’m the product of superior genes.
Male: A luxury car says.
Female: I’m so successful, I can go into debt.
Male: I’m much more handsome.
Female: Another pathetic sheep following a herd.
Male: It says a lot.
Male: I’m irresistible.
Male: The all-wheel drive Subaru legacy. All it says is that you bought a great car and you can still pay your mortgage.
Daniel W.: Man.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Let’s again read that. We’ll tag team this one.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: A luxury car says a lot about its owner.
Daniel W.: Mine says, I’m witty beyond belief.
Roy Williams: Mine says, I’m more Europeanish.
Daniel W.: Mine says, I’m the product of superior genes.
Roy Williams: I’m so successful, I can go into debt.
Daniel W.: I’m much more handsome.
Roy Williams: Cosmopolitan.
Daniel W.: Another pathetic sheep following a herd.
Roy Williams: I’m irresistible.
Daniel W.: Powerful.
Roy Williams: Stylish.
Daniel W.: Sexy.
Roy Williams: Dynamic.
Daniel W.: The Subaru SVX. All it says is that you bought a great car and you can still pay your mortgage.
Roy Williams: In other words, it says none of those other things that you wish people other people-
Daniel W.: Yeah, that’s why you purchase things.
Roy Williams: That’s why we buy things. Here’s the deal. All those, those really outside the box ads won lots of awards.
Daniel W.: Really?
Roy Williams: Yeah, they did, lots of awards. They were the rave. The advertising community in America, it was 1991, 1992. People just going nuts. “Those are the most bold, the most courageous, the most forward-thinking, the most honest, the most blah, blah, blah.” Yeah, here’s how that … If you keep reading, in ’94, ’95, those ads have been in ’91, ’92. In ’94, they started firing people. In ’95, they claimed now, so like anybody at-
Daniel W.: At anything to touch it that way?
Roy Williams: The agency was fired. The agency went on to do great things.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: They really did. It was a brilliant agency and they’ve done some amazing things since then. That one, they just forgot one thing. People do need to identify with what they buy and to say, “Now, this means nothing.” It means you’re a tight wad that worries about money and obeys the law. It’s like really, that’s not played. I buy sports cars.
The agency was fired. The Subaru executives who approved those ads lost their jobs. We buy things with which we identify. Predictability is the essence of cliché. Cold logic fails to warm the heart. When the heart with the skillful of stories, and your customer will create their own logic to justify what their heart has already decided. Yes, I believe it more than ever and we’re going to continue looking at some story-based things, right? We’ve been doing that ever since the beginning of the show.
Daniel W.: Yes.
Roy Williams: Stories. Do you need another example? Are you ready for another example?
Daniel W.: I was born ready.
Roy Williams: Nike’s very first TV ad.
Daniel W.: I’ve never seen this. No one cared.
Male: From day one, runners have taken their sport rather seriously. Once things got a little better organized, people started taking notes, analyzing how they ran and how they could run even faster. Today at Nike, we know even more. We developed one of the most sophisticated sport research labs in the world to let us see in detail the peculiarities of style, the dynamics of foot strike. At Nike, we’re putting that knowledge to work, making shoes that actually help athletes to run faster and safer.
Why do we go to so much trouble? Well, it may be the 20th century and all of that, but there are still people out there who run as if their life depended on it.
Roy Williams: Now, the big problem with that ad, it was actually two ads.
Daniel W.: Yeah. Yeah. One thing is your life is dependent on it and the science.
Roy Williams: Yeah, you’re running as if your life depended on it is they took what could have been a super interesting story. Then they said, “Now that we have your attention, let’s bore the hell out of you with some facts and data.” Everybody just went, yawn, and it did nada for Nike, just didn’t really helped. Now, the ad that really launched the company, the one-
Daniel W.: How much longer after?
Roy Williams: A year or so.
Daniel W.: Okay. It took them a year to figure out?
Roy Williams: The first one I showed you I think was 1987.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: This one is 1989.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: Okay, I think. Maybe it was ’88. Are you ready?
Male: Do something. Anything.
Female: Say you’re on a revolution. Where are you now? We all want to change the world. We always going to be. All right. All right. All right.
Roy Williams: The first thing I want to do is point out that opening line. Do you remember the opening line?
Male: Go do something. Anything.
Roy Williams: Yeah, do something. Anything. Now, when you look at the follow up ad, we’ll follow into that in just a minute. First, I want to point out that revolution by the Beatles was-
Daniel W.: They must have paid a lot of money for that ad.
Roy Williams: In 1969, well, they bought it from Michael Jackson. See, Michael Jackson owned the Beatles’ catalog. He own the song rights. Now, here’s the problem with song rights. You can buy the song rights as you know from the person who wrote the song. Now, that means that you can sing it. You can perform it. You can hire somebody else to perform it who sounds all lot like the Beatles. The performance rights, that’s a whole different deal.
Daniel W.: Whole different ball game.
Roy Williams: You didn’t buy the … They didn’t buy the Beatles performance of it for $7 million from Michael Jackson, but yet, they went ahead and used the actual Beatles’ performance of it.
Daniel W.: Yeah, they did.
Roy Williams: For which the Beatles sued them for $50 million.
Daniel W.: Yeah, how did that go? They had to have won that.
Roy Williams: It’s settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, but Nike did have to cope up a lot of money. Now, that’s not withstanding. That’s just to let you know there’s a difference between song rights and performance rights. They’re radically different things. Just because you have the … Well, we don’t need to go there. The point is that they played something that was a recognizable anthem of energy at that time. That was what like I saw on the flip side of, Hey Jude.
Daniel W.: Right.
Roy Williams: When Hey Jude came out on the 45 RPM single, Revolution was on the flip side of that. It’s this epic song for that era, late ’80s. The song had only been out like a dozen years, let’s see, late ’80s, 15 years, some? Anyway, not a long time.
Daniel W.: Long enough for everybody to know it. That’s what matters.
Roy Williams: Yeah, about 12 or 13 years. Here’s the point. Then, it was the first time that anybody had that style of almost like YouTube handheld iPhone.
Daniel W.: Yeah, real people actually doing things.
Roy Williams: Yeah. It wasn’t like real professional camera work. It was like something YouTube and iPhone but iPhones wouldn’t exist for another 30 years. I’ve never seen anything like that. It got everybody’s attention. These people don’t look perfect. They just looked like people working out. Do something. Anything. Then, you hear this high energy music. The opening line, do something. That became, now watch for the tag on this ad. This is the ad that followed up that became hugely impressive and famous.
Walt Stack: I ran 17 miles every morning. People asked me how I keep my teeth from chattering in the winter’s time. I leave them in my locker.
Daniel W.: That’s so good.
Roy Williams: I leave them in my locker. Yeah. I leave them in the locker. That’s a real guy.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: It’s a real true thing. Everybody go, “I love that guy. That guy is so awesome. He’s 80 years old. He is running 17 miles a day. He’s joking about leaving his teeth in the locker.” Then, that was the very first time because the first ad that said, “Do something, anything,” that have been such a huge hit. They encapsulated the idea into a little phrase, “Just do it.”
Daniel W.: Well done.
Roy Williams: On the next ad. The birth of just do it-
Daniel W.: That came on really early in there.
Roy Williams: It’s like 1989. Yeah. I think it’s about ’89. Just do it, was actually created after they noticed people’s response to, do something. Anything. Okay. Now, great ads speak to the imagination, not the intellect.
Daniel W.: Scientific American published an essay on May 8, 2013, quoting Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind. “The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor. Everyone loves a good story. Every culture bathes its children in stories.” The purpose of these stories is to engage and educate the emotions. Stories teach us character types, plots, and the social-rule dilemmas prevalent in our culture.
The Zero Moment of Truth occurs when a customer is consciously in the market for a particular product or service. This is that moment when an undecided customer who hasn’t already made the choice in their heart is most likely to search for information, so online information definitely matters but a great story can still win the day. Your bond with a customer will be built on emotion, not on information.
Although stories exist primarily to transfer emotion, they’re excellent at communicating information, as well. We use logic inside stories better than we do outside them. Leda Cosmides?
Roy Williams: Cosmides.
Daniel W.: Cosmides and John Tooby have shown that the Wason Selection Test can be solved by fewer than 10% when presented as a logic puzzle, but 70% solved it when it’s presented as a story involving detection of social-rule cheating. Bottom line, stories are seven times more effective than logic.
Roy Williams: Now, Scientific American Mind magazine, okay, and you can find all this online. That was at scientificamerican.com. Now, new question.
Daniel W.: All right. Roy, we are debating the value of putting a client’s address, or a locator, in their commercials. Specifically, we’re talking about a business where the customer needs to come to the client, as they are not a business that comes to the client’s house. Do you include a location in your client’s ads, or do you leave it to the consumer to look them up and find them?
Roy Williams: That is a really great question and here’s why. I do both. As you intuited, if the company comes to the house, then there’s no location to remember or even go to. Just remembering the name of the company and feeling good about that company, and being the company they think of first when they need what it is you do, and to have a good feeling about you, that’s all it takes to really win in advertising.
You need to do that same thing in retail, but if you have one location and it’s retail, then I do like to cause people to see it in their mind, but you don’t ever want to use a street address.
Daniel W.: That’s what I was thinking. No street address, but you can say, across from this famous landmark.
Roy Williams: Right. Whenever you say, “On the northwest corner of 6th and Elm. Right behind McDonald’s at 6th and Elm,” you know what I mean? I know where the McDonald’s is at 6th and Elm so you’re right behind that. They can see it. The goal is, if you can say it in such way that they literally can see it in their mind. Whenever say, there’s two locations and you feel like they both need to be mentioned, because it’s two different regions of a larger community.
They need to know, is there one in my part of town? Well, there’s one in Manchester Center and Buckerswartz Plaza. Anybody that lives near Buckerswartz Plaza knows where it is and in Manchester Center. If you hear these landmark areas, then you know where it is. Even if it’s a broad, let’s say, if you had to mention three, so it’s Manchester Center, Buckerswartz Plaza, and North Maine. Anybody that lives in that area knows where North Maine is.
Now, they’re still going to go online and find out the exact address. Probably so they can use Google Maps to navigate. You know what I mean?
Daniel W.: Would it ever be okay if it’s still so vague because it’s actually like, there’s a business I was talking with that they are known as the shittiest complex at South Lamar, very laid back and there’s nothing around. Even when you think you found it, it’s hard to know. If you use Google Maps, it will take you right to the front door. I was thinking they should say something like, “We’re off South Lamar, but we’re impossible to find. You’ll probably need to Google us.” Would that be weird to admit that as well?
Roy Williams: No, that’s absolutely positively the right thing to do.
Daniel W.: Okay.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Don’t look for us. You can’t find us with that Google Maps. It’s just put it in Google. Actually, in Houston, one of my partners, [Charlie Mojur 00:31:11], has a client, something Water Garden, and he did a TV ad where he showed a bunch of inventory and people shopping, and it’s like a nursery that has all these plants, but there are water plants, and if you have like a big reflecting pool, this is where you go, and it’s just this huge amazing place.
One of the things we talked about, and then Charlie actually did it, it worked really well. Remember, Houston is a vast place.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Vast. From one end of Houston to the other end of Houston, like from cow pasteur to cow pasteur, North to South, about 100 miles.
Daniel W.: Yeah. Easily could be a three-hour drive.
Roy Williams: Yeah. What happens is, if you have a big water feature that has plants and stuff in it, it’s not like the only place probably in the State of Texas where you can get a lot of that stuff.
Daniel W.: Hands on, yeah.
Roy Williams: It’s a huge destination draw. It’s not a neighborhood thing. It is a huge regional thing. After we show people and tell them a little about, what’s there? Charlie just goes, “You can find us.” If you remember the name of the place, you can find us. That becomes a word flag.
Daniel W.: It’s helpful if your name is that Googleable.
Roy Williams: Yeah, and it was. I don’t remember, which is embarrassing, because I’m talking about how awesome he name was, and I can’t remember it, but this was a few years ago. I remember, I thought that was so audacious to go, you’ll find us. That becomes a word flag that some people you annoyed with, other people would go, “That was just so funny man when you said, ‘You’ll find us.’ I said, I can’t believe it and tell us where it was.”
Again, getting a reaction out of people isn’t that hard if you just have the courage.
Daniel W.: Because you can totally hear people come and they’re just calling, “I found you.”
Roy Williams: Exactly.
Daniel W.: All right. I have a question about managing relationships with clients. I’ve heard the saying that people don’t buy from companies, they buy from people. It seems to me that when a client enjoys your rapport and believes that you have their best interests at heart, they will be more inclined to do business with you. Do you have any advice for us on how you manage relationships with your clients?
Roy Williams: Okay. There’s three different ideas I want to talk about. One is, having good rapport. The other one is, if a client believes you have their best interest at heart, those are not necessarily mutual exclusive. Usually, when people think about establishing rapport, they become a professional visitor, professional joke teller, professional ask about kids and-
Daniel W.: Yes, it’s really fun we talked, but I’m never really sure what we’re doing.
Roy Williams: Exactly. What happens is, I’ve known a lot of people in the sales that were convinced, if I just get them to like me enough, they’ll buy my product. I’m going actually, never having any valuable insight for them causes them to not respect you as a professional. You got to be careful with the whole rapport thing. You want the relationship to be built upon your value as an advisor. You can never, ever, ever have value as an advisor, and I’m going to go back to what Kevin asked about.
They believed that you have your best interest at heart. You believe that you have their best interest at heart. The only way you can do that is to occasionally share something that is absolutely in their best interest, but not in yours. There’s nothing in it for you at all. They are wondering, “Wow, why would Kevin say that?” Because he doesn’t get anything out of that. It’s like, it’s actually-
Daniel W.: It reminds me of that old movie. Is it Miracle on 34th Street when the real Santa starts working in Department Store? He starts going, “We don’t have that here.” There’s a store down the road and he gets reprimanded at first until all of a sudden everyone starts freaking out about how amazing the store is.
Roy Williams: Right. What happen is … Thanks, good example. I should have hesitantly and I’ll tell you why because you have a responsibility to your client when you’re selling advertising. You also have responsibility to your employer when you’re selling advertising. You’re torn between two obligations. I’m not trying to minimize that because I understand when a media seller, TV, or radio station, or billboard company wants to train its people.
There is no good answer, but our answer. There’s no good media except our media. There is no good way to spend the money except with us.
Daniel W.: Just like the difference that I’ve heard between those is, we’ve heard the employees who loved to bash their employer’s product whenever it suits them. There’s a different between that and going, “You know what? You are really not a good fit for what we’re trying to do. If we get in bed together on this, we’re both going to regret it in the long run.”
Roy Williams: Well, what happens is your sales manager will not get you away with that verbiage. Again, this is a very, very thorny problem. Instead of me just saying, “Well, here’s what you always need to do.” I’ve got, circumstances sometimes don’t let you do that, but I’m going to answer the question as asked. Do I have any advice on how you manage relationships with your clients? Yeah. Number one, and I can never say this enough.
Don’t assume for one split second that a really clever, really talented, really experienced advertising professional can always help anyone. It’s just not true. There’s some people that aren’t going to be helped. It’s like, you know what, there’s no way to save these people. They are going under and they’re not good at this. They’re outgunned by way better competitors. No matter how audacious or courageous of an idea they come up with, they actually can’t pull it off.
Then, you have to make the tough decision. What if it’s not possible for me to actually be part of the effective solution? Do I want to just make the problem worse by giving them one more bill they can’t pay? Walking away from something when you go, there’s not a win here. I could easily make the sell, there’s nobody easier to sell than somebody who’s desperate. If you have a lot of confidence and you make all promises and they are desperate, they will always buy from you.
Then, you will learn in that relationship advertising was the worst business in the world to be in because now these people are even in more pain because they believed in you and you let them down. Whenever I say I cheat, Daniel, I do. I only put my dog in the fight when I know I’m running with the winner and I know we can pull this off. This is going to be so awesome and they’ve got the courage to do something audacious.
Daniel W.: They can fulfill.
Roy Williams: They’ve got the ability to spool up and recruit and hire, and train, and they’ve already demonstrated. They have the business skills and the courage. They’ve got enough money to back what they’re doing. I’m going, “You know what, when you’re in a smallish town and you got to make budget as an advertising sales person, you don’t get to play that way.” You don’t get to do that.
Daniel W.: Yeah, it can be a luxury.
Roy Williams: Again, I’m trying to answer it with what I do, but I will also want to say if you’re in smallish town, you can’t be quite that picky, okay, at least, not for a while. After you’ve built some really big relationships and have some big successes, you have less and less, and less free time. Then, you can get a little bit more fuzzy about who you choose to work with, okay?
Daniel W.: Roy, looking for some advice on an active client from this past spring and summer. Kokomo’s Family Fun Center, I remember that one. In which you provided feedback on commercials during the May webinar, their 2018 campaign began mid-May and ended over labor weekend, 16 weeks in total, 60 spots per week. The client shared with me his 2018 thus far has not seen an uptick in revenue and their busy season is now done.
He spends approximately $60,000 annually in marketing. He is contemplating removing traditional media and hiring a full-time marketing/infield employee. The reason for this, is he saw a decline on group events which has negatively impacted his bottom. The client has been a follower of Roy Williams for years. I know that I should be telling the client. I just need to hear it from Roy himself. What advice would you give?
Roy Williams: Okay, now, this is just painful. I was hoping we’d run out of time before we got to this. Because I desperately, desperately, desperately want Kokomo’s to succeed. Whenever you start doing the math, and you start saying, “Okay.” He was flat after spending 60 grand and running an awesome schedule. That was a really aggressively schedule during peak season. Yes, he didn’t really see an uptick.
I’m thinking, well, I got curious. Is anybody in that category, anywhere in America seeing an uptick, and if so, what are they doing? Okay, what I found out Daniel is, there’s one, maybe it’s going to be a flush in the pan and not really have the legs for the long whole. There’s only one really successful miniature golf course in America right now.
Daniel W.: Is it in Brenton?
Roy Williams: Downtown San Francisco.
Daniel W.: Really?
Roy Williams: It is this unbelievable nice restaurant and it’s outdoors, a beautiful restaurant. Park is covered, but yet, you can walk through. It’s a thing. You can even see the whole miniature golf course from any one position. You’re walking through the restaurant. It’s like if you’re in Disney World and the Epcot center where you have little restaurants. You’re on this journey, in miniature golf, in and among the diners, and there’s drinks and waiters, and really good food, and stuff. It becomes this absurd crazy thing to do for dinner.
They have great food. It’s not like hotdogs and hamburgers. This is a really nice restaurant. For giggles, you can play Putt-Putt although the restaurant. It’s a big miniature golf course. Now, do you have any idea what a location downtown San Francisco? It’s like, I can’t even imagine making that realm. Well, they are not making it on the miniature golf. It’s just a shtick.
Daniel W.: It’s like they have investors. They make it on alcohol and food, not on video games.
Roy Williams: Exactly. Not on video games. All I’m saying, so then, as I was researching this and I’m going, okay, is anybody doing anything that’s really remarkable? I found the only thing that was going on that was remarkable was in San Francisco. I say, “Well, okay. What then?” Here’s my advice. Buy him a copy of Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra. Jon without an, H. That’s the cover over the book right there.
Jon Spoelstra, it was published Barred Press. Jon Spoelstra teaches occasionally at Wizard Academy. He’s a good friend. It is an astoundingly good book. If there is something that can be done, it’s in that book.
Daniel W.: Yeah, because you really are going to have to go way out there.
Roy Williams: Yeah, you’re going to have to do some-
Daniel W.: You can’t just say, it’s really fun. Your family should come here.
Roy Williams: Well, what I’m saying is, it’s going to take a structural philosophical move of just absolutely audacity. It’s
not a safe move. It’s a crazy move. Now, there are so many specific detailed examples in that book. I have to believe that anybody that was really serious and open-minded is going to find at least five or six really genuinely workable ideas.
Ideas that actually fit the circumstances. It could be tweaked or implemented because that’s Spoelstra’s background. It was in sports marketing. I cannot overstress everybody needs to read that book because it’s the only book about direct response that I actually endorsed.
Daniel W.: You know what I wondered about this? Because I had this thought and I’m interested in your answer on this because it might be in insane. There’s a couple of places like that in Austin, right? [inaudible 00:43:09] is an obvious one but there’s some other ones that have all these different things. Every time I go, I always think, “This place should sell like a gym style membership.” Where, it was just something we could all go do and then after they still made money off of drinks and food, right?
You got a membership card and it will allowed you to just come in and play games whenever you wanted, right? They were just going to show up and you’re really counting on the fact that, just like a gym, it’s not always full with all the members all the time.
Roy Williams: It’s a great idea. It would absolutely work because if a person is, I’d pay how many dollars a month, 15 bucks a month, 20 bucks a month, for just unlimited playtime. The truth is, people will always think more often than they actually do it. They like the idea of being able to do it and so it’s smooth-
Daniel W.: If I can play video games all of the time for one flat fee.
Roy Williams: Exactly. That’s one thing Spoelstra actually talks about in his book. Those ideas, those really insane, nobody has ever done this before for a lot of things. It doesn’t necessarily take big capitalization. It don’t take a lot of money. It just takes doing something that nobody ever thought of before.
Daniel W.: Yeah, like, I wanted to do investments only in the membership card.
Roy Williams: Exactly.
Daniel W.: That works on the games.
Roy Williams: You could actually do that. Now, the second thing is endorse the idea of hiring an inside person, that feet-on-the-street, cold-caller who’s going to go knock on the doors of businesses, which I think is what he is referring to.
Daniel W.: Figure out a plan.
Roy Williams: Yeah. The problem is, anybody that can actually do that can make infinitely more money at a whole bunch of other places. Because, anybody that’s actually self-motivated and persuasive enough to actually just call one businesses all day every day and try to convince them into outings, as a team building, and so to put together, could it be done? Absolutely. Could it work? Positively. It only works as well as the person you hire to actually do it.
Daniel W.: Someone capable of pulling that off.
Roy Williams: That is an unbelievable get. What I’m saying is, is that a good idea? Yeah. If you took the whole $60,000 ad budget and hired somebody with that 60 grand, but they were actually capable of making that happen, you’re going to get keep them for exactly one season. Because the following year, they are going to make a quarter million dollars selling something for somebody else and it’s not going to be a fun center. What I’m saying is, could the idea work? You bet, it could. This is that moment when if you told somebody, you know what-
Daniel W.: In a relationship discussion.
Roy Williams: Exactly said. That actually the idea is not a bad idea. It will be an amazing idea even if it took your whole ad budget but it does presume one thing. I think the idea is fantastic. It assumes that you can find a person who actually gets it done and that is a real miracle worker that exists that you’re going to have to find somebody who’s capable of doing it, willing to do it, but hasn’t done it yet. Because anybody has ever done it yet, successfully, they have everybody offering them all money for just all kinds.
Daniel W.: Anybody with the [inaudible 00:46:20].
Roy Williams: Yeah, all kinds of when you’re talking about direct selling, cold calling basically. It’s a tough business as every media web knows. Except media webs do get call-ins. People just, “I want to talk to somebody about some advertising on your station.” That happens every day. The third one, and I only put this in there in the interest of being thorough. Ask him if he’s ever had thoughts of doing something else.
Because you know what? Here’s what I found when I was doing my research, okay. At the very top, that is usatoday.com and read that to us.
Daniel W.: It wasn’t until the ’90s, following the rise of at-home technology, that its popularity began to slow down. Although there’s only scattered empirical data to explain this downturn, prominent figures within the miniature golf industry point to the rise of technology as the biggest problem. Kids, customers, simply seek more interactive pastimes nowadays. It’s a phenomenon that’s negatively impacted industries similar to miniature golf, like paintball and roller skating, which reported downturns of 6.8% and 9.7% in its participation between 2008 and 2013, according to a Sport & Fitness Industry studies.
Roy Williams: Now, wait a minute. That was five years ago. It was 2013.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: This was reported I think in 2016.
Daniel W.: That’s probably only more so.
Roy Williams: Yeah, it’s accelerating. What happens is, believe it or not, to be flat is a win.
Daniel W.: Yeah.
Roy Williams: Nobody wants to hear that. You can never sell that idea. When a person is really honest about the condition of their business category, to be flat against the previous year is a win because it is not a category that’s maintaining. It’s a category that’s in decline and is there anything that is going to resurrect it? Not that anybody has found yet.
Daniel W.: Well, not necessarily-
Roy Williams: It doesn’t mean there’s no hope.
Daniel W.: Not inherently. There could be a way to resurrect it where it said, piece of what you’re doing.
Roy Williams: Exactly. What I’m saying is, there is definitely still hope but it won’t be solved by just advertising. Advertising by itself is not the solution to the situation.
Daniel W.: “In the age of computers, children aren’t as interested in outdoor activities,” said David Callahan, the current CEO of the Putt-Putt Corporation.
Roy Williams: All of the previous quotes were from David Callahan. Reported in USA Today because he was just talking about the condition of outdoor family-oriented activities. He goes, “Yeah, this is not at all what used to be down in the ’50s.” It was huge, ’60s it was huge, ’70s it was huge.
Daniel W.: Everyone went on vacation by climbing in the cars and driving across the US. That hasn’t been the case for ages.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Now, may the force be with you.
Daniel W.: I’m 25 years old. I grew up with Facebook and traditional media. I am now an Advertising Consultant, selling radio. I feel that my age hurts my credibility when I am talking to a business owner who has been operating their business for more than years that I have been alive. That’s nice self-awareness. Do you have any advice on how to overcome this and increase my value in the eyes of a prospect? Henry Greenherg. I like the guy.
Roy Williams: I do too.
Daniel W.: The fact that he wrote that email.
Roy Williams: I do too. Now, I’ve been selling advertising for five years when I was 25.
Daniel W.: I remember the story you’re talking about. It’s prematurely great, it really helped.
Roy Williams: Yeah. Try selling advertising when you’re 19 and cold calling with business owners that were not the least hesitant to just get in your face and scream at you, and tell you to hit the door. This is the thing. What will save you, Henry, is if you ignore your age and if you never say anything, unless you’re deeply convinced of it. If you always ask really piercingly insightful questions and you do it in a way that reveals that you not only do have an interest but you actually have some inside perspective.
You know a little bit about this business then, don’t you? See, that’s not that hard to do. I know the one that when I was about your age, somebody that really knew the new car business said, I said, “Listen, if you want to talk to a car dealer and get their attention, ask them what your absorption rate is.” I’m, “What the hell is an absorption rate?” He says, “Here’s the deal. In the new car business, you don’t make money selling cars.
That’s not how you keep the place alive. You make money on parts and repair. The service department is how you make money.” Remember, every time someone brings their new car in under warranty, the factory pays for the repair. The factory pays the dealer. They’re most likely going to take the dealer they bought it from. Even if you’re breaking even on the car, they are going to bring it to you for the warranty work and the money is in the service and repair department.
Absorption is what percentage of the total overhead of the entire, what do they call it? Dealer, dealership, yeah, dealership. The total sales of the entire dealership, what percentage of that is absorbed by the parts and repair department? It’s a term that only new car dealers used and nobody outside of the circle knows the word. If you ask, “Man, what’s your absorption around here? You seem you have a really strong parts department, parts and service.”
All of a sudden, they are just going to lean back and go in, say, “Man, you’ve been around. I’ve never had an advertising person in the world that asks me about my absorption was. Hey, buddy, I’m up 78%, my goal is 100% absorption,” because there are car dealerships that have more than 100% absorption. In other words, if they sold all the cars and broke even, just to making tons of money, because you’re bringing in more than enough money on parts and service, 100% absorption is not that rare.
How much you’re falling short of 100% and how much you’ve exceeded 100% absorption is a big, big, big comparison of who’s doing a better job among car dealers. Every industry has inside information like that. When you know a little bit of the reality of the business, then you can sit down and have discussions, and ask questions, and they instantly respect you. It has nothing to do with your age. It has to do with the fact that you know more than just about your media.
If every time you open your mouth, the only intelligent thing you have to say is statistics about the media and things that-
Daniel W.: Reading all your internal memos.
Roy Williams: Exactly.
Daniel W.: Not their industry.
Roy Williams: They’re not interested-
Daniel W.: I have to dovetail on that too. I think it’s the same thought, just a different variation of it. When I first took on another outside job in addition to doing music, I got into a marketing company. At first, I was just doing direct phone call customer service for their 150 clients. They would call and all they wanted was a problem solved. They put me on the phone on day three. I have no idea how this company works. It was extremely complex company, did a bunch of different things.
Immediately, I’m in a position, very similar to this, no experience, no knowledge, no idea what I’m doing. What I found saved my butt was someone called for about the first two months, every time they called, they say, “I need this, can you answer this question, blah, blah, blah?” I would say, “I will find the answer to that question. I’m going to call you back in 10 minutes. Is that going to work for you?” They would say, “Absolutely.” I said, “Okay. I’ll call you right back,” and I’d hang up.
I would go running to the building until I found the question. I’d come back. I’d write down that person’s name. He had a question like this. This is the person you call. Then, I call back and I’d say, “All right. Here’s the story.” If I was every single time I picked up the phone, I was willing to admit, I have no idea but you know what I do know how to do? Find that answer. In a situation where you do get asked the question and you can’t dodge it but you don’t really know, don’t pretend to know.
That’s what will prove that your age is a waste of time but if instead you simply say, “That is I think a great question. I’d be more comfortable answering if I have some time to do some research on it.”
Roy Williams: Yeah. What Daniel is pointing out indirectly is never engage in a debate or try to correct somebody that’s older and has more experience than you, because they are just going to roll their eyes and say, “Get out of here.” You can’t go toe to toe with them at 25 years old.
Daniel W.: Use judo.
Roy Williams: Exactly.
Daniel W.: You just take a step back and let their weight carry it all.
Roy Williams: Exactly. What happens is, if the only thing that you ever offer are only insightful viable things, and if you are complementary whenever somebody has done something, that’s actually very clever. It’s like, wow, I’m going to remember that because I would have thought of that but that was obviously a cool thing you did man. People like to be … Nobody likes to be flattered if they think you’re just trying to grease them but they do like for genuinely insightful decisions to be recognized as, “That was pretty clever. That was, wow. I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
Daniel W.: All right. What is your best advice to someone starting their advertising career, in terms of how to turn transactional clients into long term clients? Do you have a secret sauce for them to take the plunge or to getting them to think differently about advertising so they’ll consider a change from buying only transactionally? Are there any clients that you feel it makes more sense for them to just buy for a short transactional campaigns? Michelle Miller.
Roy Williams: Okay. Now, Michelle, there are definitely product and service categories that are genuinely seasonal. That means they’re not in business 12 months a year. One of those is concerts. Concert comes to town, they are leaving Saturday night after the concert. That’s a short flight. Anytime there’s going to be something that happens, like a resonance fair, or something, it’s like when it’s over, it’s over. That’s a short flight.
It is about initiating people to take action in a short period of time that requires a high frequency schedule, and a lot of benefit stocking. All the stuff that you’re going to experience if you do this thing I’m asking you to do. Now, do I have a secret sauce? Instead of offering a discount which always destroys the inherent value of the product, I will simply ask for a feature product or a feature service. When we very first started working with [inaudible 00:57:17], I needed to make something happen in a big way quickly for one franchise partner as proof of concept.
Daniel W.: You didn’t want to establish a pattern that would hurt you in a long run.
Roy Williams: Right. What I did was, what we hold of more of than anything else? The answer was dead TVs. I said, “Okay.” Let’s say, we have this whole policy of can we give you a free estimate for holding off whatever you need to hold off? I said, “No, we’re just going to run an ad at radio that says, ‘Do you have a dead TV? It’s probably been sitting there so long, you don’t see it anymore.’” Everybody else does. It’s like, let us come and get that thing.
$29, we’re going come and pick up that dead TV, make it disappear for 29 bucks, you don’t have to move it. All you have to do is pull it when it had got junked. I said, now, when the person calls, they can imagine. Yeah, I do have a dead TV, so it’s a specific thing. You said, “Do you have junk?” They would go, “Nope.” “Do you have a dead TV?” “Yeah, I have one of those.” I said, “Here’s the deal, I would definitely pay 29 bucks for somebody to come and get that and hold it off.” It’s a great big thing.
It’s like I want it out of here. I don’t know what to do with it. It worked incredibly well. Now, when they called in and asked, or said, “Hey, come get my dead TV.” We said, “Great, we got a truck on your street headed your way right now. Now, while we’re coming, if you want to look in the closets and look under the bed, and poke your head in the attic, maybe look out in the shed or in the yard.”
Daniel W.: Just in case.
Roy Williams: Do you have any like swing sets you want to hold off or maybe some tires, or something? You just give them some suggestions.
Daniel W.: You’re running a list of possible things in those people’s house.
Roy Williams: You say, “When the truck guys get there, if you found some other things you want to toss on the truck, just tell them and they’ll give you a price for adding that.” The average $29 call, you can get my TV for 29 bucks. You bet. That’s not a lost leader. It’s just a specific price for a specific item. Same thing in the jewelry store, okay? By the way, the average call ran up about being 300 bucks because they found out a whole bunch of other stuff they want to hold off.
Daniel W.: Yeah, they walked into the backyard and they’re like, “Let’s just look in the backyard real quick.”
Roy Williams: Exactly. The other thing is, like at a jewelry store. We have a wide selection of jewelry to choose from, you can say, and it’s tractable, is you pick an item that sounds way more impressive than the price. The price is like, that sounds like that should cost a whole lot more than that. Now, every jewelry store has one or two of those things and they’re already selling pretty well. You just find one of those and you make it a feature item.
You advertised just that item and you tell the retailer to say, “Look, if we sell enough of this to even offset part of the cost for running ads, you’re not going to make enough money on these to pay for all the advertising.” It’s going to bring out a whole lot of people in the store for the first time that have never been there in the store. What we’re buying is traffic. They are coming in to look at jewelry and they’re not looking at something at a discount. They are coming in to look at a specific item.
Now, we don’t care how many of those we sell. It’s not about selling that item. It’s about getting them to come in and look at that item. Then, they might buy any one of thousands of other things. We can’t judge how well it worked but how many of those did we sell and how much profit do we make on those, and how much advertising do we spend? Don’t go down that road. You have to tell the client upfront.
Daniel W.: To me-
Roy Williams: What you are trying to do and what you are not trying to do.
Daniel W.: What I hear on that is, one possible way to turn somebody from transactional to the long term thinking is to get them to start thinking on the effects of their transactional offer?
Roy Williams: Right. The benefit-
Daniel W.: As opposed to just the transactional.
Roy Williams: Exactly. It’s not about this transaction. It’s about what we’re accomplishing with naming a specific thing to come in and look at it. That has the markers of direct response. It has the markers of a transactional ad, but it’s really not. It’s a relational ad in disguise but it gives them a specific call to action and something, maybe it’s a little bit twitchy that was like that. All right. Now, Daniel, we made an offer last week.
Daniel W.: Yeah, we did.
Roy Williams: Yes, about … We have two people?
Daniel W.: We have two people.
Roy Williams: Two people in the last week and in the last month.
Daniel W.: Yes, we had [Jon Stit 01:01:28].
Roy Williams: We played the ads that were written by Asia Greg.
Daniel W.: Right, and just write something wild and put it in the world.
Roy Williams: Asia is coming to Seattle.
Daniel W.: Good.
Roy Williams: She’s going to be in Seattle. What were we going to do?
Daniel W.: We hadn’t figured out a grand price, but I know we’re going to send to everybody he submitted a book.
Roy Williams: No, we did have a book.
Daniel W.: What was the grand price?
Roy Williams: I think we had a grand price.
Daniel W.: Seattle, it was Seattle.
Roy Williams: What the choice was-
Daniel W.: Get there.
Roy Williams: What the choice was is you can either come to a Wizard Academy class anytime in the next 12 months or if you
want to make the Seattle gig, which is just later in September.
Daniel W.: You just have to get to motels but-
Roy Williams: Yeah. Here’s the deal, you said we only have two people?
Daniel W.: Let them both do it.
Roy Williams: Let them both have it.
Daniel W.: Done.
Roy Williams: You’re going to mail the book and they get the choice to go to the Wizard Academy class.
Daniel W.: Or to come hang at Seattle.
Roy Williams: Or they come out and hang out with the Wizard Ads Partners in Seattle.
Daniel W.: That’s like next week.
Roy Williams: Is it next week?
Daniel W.: Or a week after. It’s like two weeks away, I think.
Roy Williams: Anyway, go to Wizard of Ads, no Wizard-
Daniel W.: Yeah, Wizard Ads Partners or-
Roy Williams: It’s wizardads.com
Daniel W.: Okay. Cool.
Roy Williams: You’ll see the Wizard Ads Partners that will say, “Blah, blah Seattle.”
Daniel W.: Now, I’m going to instead of reading these, I’m just going to put links to it because they put them out in the world like they were supposed to.
Roy Williams: All right. Who was it?
Daniel W.: Jim Barocka and Jon Stit.
Roy Williams: Jon Stit and Jim Barocka, well done.
Daniel W.: Rock and roll.
Roy Williams: All right. Daniel, it’s time to say goodbye.
Daniel W.: It is. Goodbye.