Think of pickup-truck advertising on TV and what comes to mind?
Macho guys heaving heavy loads onto truck beds. Mud-splattered pickups hurtling over bumpy ground. Everything is rough and tough.
The emotional logic is clear: if I buy one of these trucks, I join the club. I am no longer the fifteen-pounds-overweight couch potato. I am the farm hand, the construction worker, the man.
This is nothing new. We've see it all before. Yet, watching a recent sports event on TV, I came across a truck commercial that handled things very differently, and I think, beautifully. Here it is:
(SHOT OF HAND HOLDING BRAKE SHOE) ANNOUNCER VOICE OVER:
"For years the front brakes on many half tons were THIS big.
(CUT TO HAND HOLDING A MUCH BIGGER BRAKE SHOE NEXT TO THE COMPETITOR'S.)
"You wanted brakes THIS big. Bingo! Standard on the all new full-size Tundra. Learn more at Toyota.com."
This commercial struck me as really quite unique in the category. Instead of showing the usual pickup slogging through the mud, it emphasizes a concrete, visible difference between the Tundra and other pickups.
To put it simply, the commercial gives the viewer an excellent real reason to consider the pickup.(In other ads in the campaign, the Tundra engine and transmission are also shown side by side against the puny competition.)
Bottom line? Instead of producing another "me too" truck commercial, the copywriter used the old side-by-side comparison format, so beloved by packaged goods brands like Pampers and Bounty, and beautifully adapts it to pickup-truck advertising.
What does this have to do with you and me?
Plenty, actually. Though we may never have to promote pickup trucks, as marketers and, ultimately, as sales people, we have to constantly think outside the box, just like the copywriter on the truck commercial did.
Our job is to rethink our marketing assumptions, then apply our knowledge in creative and involving ways.
Only then can we make sure that profits keep on truckin'.