In The Face-toFace Book, Ed Keller and Brad Fay state: “Whatever the medium, the name of the game is engagement—advertising that provokes a conversation, a sharing of advice, experiences, and opinions.”
In their view businesses and brands have become far too insular and introspective. Before creating an ad executives spend hours pondering their brand’s purpose and values or the best look and feel. But these aren’t the most valuable questions to ask say Keller and Fay.
Rather, brands should focus on producing ads that contain ideas that are worth spreading. By producing ads that get people talking businesses maximise word-of-mouth that has the potential to drive growth in sales.
Without these ideas and conversations, ads are limited by the strength of their call to action. If that fails to work — perhaps the consumer isn’t quite ready to buy at the point of viewing the ad — then, without any residual word-of-mouth, the ad is a failure.
And in the world of real estate ads that create positive residual WOM are rare.
If they existed, what would they look like?
They’d look like an ad recently published on Gumtree for a property in Norseman.
For those who don’t know, Norseman is 200 kms south of Kalgoorlie. As the gateway to the Nullabor Plains it’s in BFK.
Literally Norseman has nothing going for it except the road to Esperance!
But that didn’t stop an enterprising wag creating an ad that stands head and shoulders over every other real estate ad I’ve ever read or written. It’s funny, it’s witty and it’s captivating. It’s worth reading. It’s even worth writing about.
In other words it’s an idea worth spreading. It makes people think and gets them talking.
Importantly, it challenges our notions of what a property ad “should” look like.
So why don’t agents write ads like this? Is it too hard? Does it take too much time or skill?
I contend that their defence will be that it’s ok to write an ad like this for a home that you own but it would’t be ok for someone else’s property.
But that’s a cop out. It’s taking the safe route. It’s hiding behind a conservative mindset to avoid the embarrassment of life in the public spotlight. It’s holding on to the ordinary so as not to attract conversations behind cupped hands.
I hold out the hope that one day one of my agent friends will be as bold as the Norseman wag, that they’ll step out from the shadows to create some marketing that gets people talking.
In reality, what I’m really wishing for is for me to do this. To step into the spotlight, to be less fearful and to write words that shock and surprise and that set tongues wagging.