Bold. Majestic. Ultimately Forgettable… But What Really Snarls Their Attention?

Bold. Majestic. Ultimately Forgettable… But What Really Snarls Their Attention?

Wow. It was 72 degrees today. That’s crazy weather for February in the northeast.

The picture you see above is the World Trade Center in NYC. I was in the Exchange Place area of Jersey City today for a dentist appointment. Since the weather was perfect, I ate my lunch on a park bench overlooking the Hudson River.

I sat for a half hour admiring the view. The symbol of power, resilience and heroism makes a bold statement in the skyline. Looking at it across the Hudson on a clear day gives you an unobstructed view.  You can’t help but take notice. Actually, that’s not true. For a long time I forgot it was there.

We Filter Out The Obvious

You see, I lived in Jersey City for three years. I walked along that path every single day. The only time I would ever stop and look at the World Trade Center was when they did some odd lighting. I got used to it after seeing it all the time. It became old hat to me. I still appreciated and admired it but it blended into the scenery.

Rediscovering the majestic nature of the World Trade Center reminded me of an important lesson. It’s a lesson I often forget. A common practice in marketing is to outdo your competition by making bigger and better promises. It works. Customers gravitate to bigger and bolder promises. That is until it stops working.

Why Big Promises Lose Their Mojo

Eventually those big promises lose their power. They become commonplace as everyone tries to outdo the other. When that happens they become like the World Trade Center. They blend into the scenery and become invisible.

I’m guilty of this myself. I went back and looked at the last twenty headlines I wrote. Most were big promises. I clearly neglected to practice what I’m now preaching. Go ahead, call me a hypocrite.

What Weapons Can We Draw On When Big Promises Fail To Get Attention?

Don’t Be Like The World Trade CenterBe different. Say something nobody ever heard before. Present it in a way which nobody is familiar. Use curiosity to grab their attention. Curiosity leads to anticipation. That triggers an urge to find out what comes next.

Here’s an example of a headline with a big promise:

How to lose thirty pounds in thirty days

 Now, I’ll tweak it a bit to add curiosity which hopefully leads to anticipation.

How to lose thirty pounds in thirty days… without diet, exercise or pills

That little addition adds a bit of curiosity. That curiosity triggers an urge to see what it’s all about. That example just what popped into my head. With some more thought I could certainly improve on it.

Find that one unique thing about your product, service or idea. Build your hook around that. Add in that element and you create enough curiosity to trigger that little voice in their head:

Hmmm… What’s this all about? I need to take a look.”


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