As a marketer, I pay close attention to marketing and advertising campaigns. I scrutinize television commercials and glossy magazine ads and I make mental notes about them: how do they make me feel, what do I like or dislike, what design techniques are used, who are they targeting? I take note of billboards that catch my eye and of radio commercials I listen to the whole way through. I even read my junk mail!
I have my favorite ads that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, like Volkswagon, Target and Dove. Then, there are ads I always seem to notice, like Nike, Got Milk and Absolut Vodka. Somehow, just watching or looking at a Nike ad gives me a sense of strength and confidence, like I could walk out the door and run 10 miles with no problem. Finally, there are ads that I just cannot watch or listen to without feeling uncomfortable or annoyed. A few that come to mind are most beer, Old Navy and McDonalds commercials, and up until recently, Tom Shane radio ads.
It wasn’t long ago that I used to turn the station on my radio as soon as I heard Tom Shane’s monotone and nap-inducing voice. I especially disliked the commercials where he gave advice to people about picking out jewelry. The following is not an actual transcript of a Tom Shane commercial.
Woman: “Tom, I want to make sure my fiancé picks out the ring I want, not the ring he thinks I want. Tom: “hmmmm” Woman: “But I don’t want to be bossy and tell him what to do. I want him to think he knows what he’s doing.” Tom: “uh-huh.” Woman: “But if he picks out the wrong ring I will be very upset and just might call the whole thing off.” Tom: “oh?” And then Tom explains to the woman how to drop hints to her fiancé about how to pick out the right rock, without making him feel emasculated. For the longest time I never even heard a complete Tom Shane commercial, but a few months ago I caught the very end of one with the new catchy tagline, “He’s dull, but he’s brilliant. Shane.” Did I hear that right? Is this a joke? Is someone making fun of Tom? Well, it turns out someone was, and that someone was Tom!
Now I love Tom Shane commercials, especially the television ads where you never actually see his face. They are funny and endearing and make his personality much more accessible. I would actually consider buying jewelry from him now because I feel like I know him, like I’d be giving my hard-earned dollars to a friend, not just some guy on the radio.
And that’s the power of good marketing. When you take one person’s perceptions about a certain product or company and turn them completely around. All it took was a catchy tune and a sense of humor to make me a Tom Shane fan.
I have to note that the above is only my personal opinion and is not based on any kind of scientific research or public opinion surveys.
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