“The audience is our first responsibility, even before the client, for if we cannot involve them what good will it do him?”
The quote above is from my favourite 1960’s ad man, Howard Gossage. Gossage believed it was unethical to try to impact an audience without first involving it. He thought it showed a lack of respect for the audience.
In almost 60 years, I have to say we haven’t come very far. Most advertisers do very little to involve their audience before reverting to sales nag-mode.
Gossage used coupons and competitions to involve his audience. Perhaps most famously, he created the world’s largest paper aeroplane flying competition, to advertise the Australian airline Qantas.
The storytelling methodology that I teach isn’t so different. Essentially you’re seeking to involve the audience before you deliver your pitch. It’s very difficult to hold someone’s attention if you haven’t first involved them in some way.
If you need to build trust before you can close a sale, sometimes you have to take a less direct sales route.