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Advertising is the Price of Being Boring

If people won’t talk about you for free, you have to pay the media to do it.

I’m not saying advertising is bad.

I’m saying that the duller you are, the more advertising support you need. There is a direct relationship.

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  1. Chris Moritz August 1, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Need to make a poster out of that. Ouch!

  2. Robb Lejuwaan August 1, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    You are absolutely correct. I think most businesses are afraid of being “un-boring.” I was speaking with one of my clients recently (Realtor)attempting to provoke her to start a blog and let her hair down a bit so potential agents could see her human/real side. She just could not even fathom the idea; she has to come across “professional” at all times. She could not see that we can be professional and human/authentic at the same time. For her professionalism and authenticity were located on to separate poles. I doubt she is having much fun with her business!

  3. micah solomon August 1, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    …your first line is absolutely correct. The dullness factor, though, I’m thinking, may not be the only reason for non-discussability, of course. In some cases the more delicate and un-discussable the subject, the more advertising support you might need even if your product is noteworthy (certain types of medical tests, new types of toilet tissue that actually have, uh, “improved functionality”)

  4. Dustin Robertson August 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    We call the this the Ginzu to Google scale. The more you have to spend on advertising the closer you are to Ginzu the less you spend on advertising the closer you are to google.
    In case you forgot, Ginzu was the knife set sold via infomercials all through the eighties. Nobody would have bought the Ginzu if they did not see the guy cut the can then the tomato 50 times.

  5. Ramiro August 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    I love the idea of the Ginzu-Google scale, and I also think advertising is a cost companies have to endure to make people talk about them. The thing I believe we need to achieve (I work for an ad agency) is the perfect balance between people talking on their own and media talking for you. Advertising now needs to trigger conversations, just like in the Nike+ human race example. In Venezuela nobody knew about nike+. Now that we have the race coming, everybody started to talk about it and to blog about it. I think that’s a pretty close to the middle of the scale, don’t you think?

  6. Lee McEwan August 5, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    Robert Stephens of Geek Squad holds a similar belief: “advertising is a tax you pay for unremarkable thinking”…

  7. Lisa Horn August 11, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    Andy–love the post about advertising, so I wanted to alert you to a typo in the last sentence: “I’m say” should be “I’m saying.” :-)

  8. Andy Sernovitz August 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    Thanks, Lisa. “I’m saying” it’s now corrected. :)

  9. Tim Jahn | Media creator and integrator September 26, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Craig trumps eBay any day

    I constantly tell people how much I love to use Craigslist for almost anything. I haven’t bought tickets off Ticketmaster in 2 years. My furniture comes from Craigslist. Hell, even some freelance gigs from time to time.
    I stopped using eBay years ago.

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