It’s Friday evening. My train pulls up at the station, the side gate where everyone normally funnels through to get to the exit is locked. Everyone is being directed towards the only open gate. On this night it is packed with ticket inspectors doing their rounds to make sure everyone has paid for their travels.
As I queue up to show my valid travel card someone pushes past. They’re walking briskly until one of the inspectors shouts out ‘Stop’. He doesn’t stop. In fact he does the opposite. He runs.
As he does the ticket inspector reaches out to grab him. He’s running with speed and the inspector only manages to snag the man’s hood. Luckily for him it was a click on style one and he got away.
He’s now running down the road.
The inspector calls out.
“You forgot your hood mate”
The man for some reason runs back. He tries to grab his hood back and turn around. Only he’s now surrounded. No running this time. He’s escorted to pay his fine.
Now this isn’t a story about paying your way on trains. You should know that.
Instead let’s talk logic.
The man had got away. He came back. I can only assume he really loves his jacket. That potentially it is his favourite thing in the whole world. Even then, replacing a hood must be a lot cheaper than paying the fine.
Humans as much as we like to think are logical and wonderfully smart creatures are prone to irrational choices. Moments of oddness.
Times when someone advertising that you’ve left your hood compels you to action.
Advertising likes to think of audiences in models. Predictable behaviour, audiences making logical leaps. If someone searches for blinds, let’s keep hitting them with adverts for blinds. Oh, they’ve already got them. That’s clear indication they're blind fans, let’s keep showing them more blinds. They’ll love it.
If someone has indicated they're a parent, let’s target them with adverts about their child’s future. It’s logical that they’ll be worried about their children’s future.
Sure, it’ll work sometimes.
I mean I know am the proud owner of over 150 types of blinds*
But let’s not forget those fuzzy leaps of logic.
We don’t buy, follow or like in completely predictable ways.
There is so much pressure on our industry to justify itself. Prove it works. Show us the results. Tell me that your advert or campaign will result in more sales, sign ups and brand love.
Yes we should factor that into every campaign.
It shouldn’t define every aspect of it through.
Keep space open for just connecting with our audience in other fuzzy ways. We keep talking about creating a ‘relationship’ with our audiences. Well relationships are fuzzy things within themselves. Sometimes you will give your friend a call just because. You’ll go for a coffee not because you want anything but a shared time can be all you need.
So let’s help our brands connect with our audiences with value. Let’s remember some of that value is wonderful and fuzzy.
*Not really. That’d be crazy. I only have 149.