Making your Prospects Sick

Worst, ABSOLUTELY the worst ad on television today is the Volkswagen commercial.

Two people are driving, chatting away, life is good.

BAM! A CAR SLAMS INTO THEM, VIOLENTLY SNAPPING HEADS AND BODIES, THEN SILENCE.

Next scene is the two people standing outside a crushed car with caved in side.

They’re okay, but I (like every viewer I’ve questioned about this ad) am sick in the pit of my stomach at the collision.

First, why would you want prospects to physically feel ill when looking at your product?

Second, Volvo OWNS the safety brand in automobiles, not VW.

Somehow, Volkswagen executives have managed to create a disgusting experience in a commercial while competing with competitor’s creative moments like Chevys flying through the air and other enjoyable 30 or 60 second eye-bytes.

Your job is to make prospects feel good. You can do that by finding a way to get them to laugh as early in the conversation as possible (my #1 strategy, by the way). You can offer them something to eat, drink, a gift. Do anything to create an environment where people want to hang out with you, rather than wince and wonder how quickly this will be over.

Volkswagen, you blew it, badly. Some decision-maker somewhere had his or her creative brain collide with common sense. Welcome to the world of free exposure through your expensively manufactured sales horror story.

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