“No one cares what you’ve got to say,” said Dave Trott – the advertising guru who’s just as famous for his human truths and bold remarks as he is for his published books and award-winning copywriting. He was talking at an event I attended last night in London called Take Fucking Risks.
And the thing is, he’s exactly right.
No one cares what you’ve got to say. No one cares what your business or brand has got to say either. And it’s something so many people struggle with.
The average Londoner (okay, we’re not all Londoners but roll with this) sees 1000 ads a day. 4% are remembered positively, 7% negatively and 89% forgotten. How many adverts can you remember today?
Businesses spend £21bn a year on advertising. And the figures above mean that roughly £19bn (which is probably enough to buy you a Neymar) is going to waste.
So what’s the problem? Where does it all go wrong?
One of the reasons is that people don’t realise no one cares what you think. No one cares what you must say in your ad, in your report, on your website banner or in your email footer. All people care about is what’s in it for them.
So as creative people, our job is to make things as simple as possible. Trott said, “As creatives, our only job is to create demand [but the problem is] stupid people think complicated is clever”.
Again, completely right. It was Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain it to an 11 year old, you haven’t really understood it”.
This is a problem which Harvard scientist, psychologist and linguist, Steven Pinker, calls “The curse of knowledge” – where people who are an expert on a certain topic try to over-explain it. They think people care about the detail and everything behind the scenes. When really, their audience couldn’t care less.
So what’s the solution?
Well, isn’t it obvious? It’s time for people, businesses and brands to take some risks with their marketing and advertising.
Your writing is something which should turn heads, make someone want to read it and create demand for your brand, product or service. We live in the age of content and your content will just blend in otherwise.
It’s time to trust your creative writer or creative team and try something disruptive.