• Tony

The Advertising Uncertainty Principle


What is it that makes people respond to one advert and not another?

This week I was discussing advertisements with a couple of pals at the Toppled Bollard dance emporium and complaining about the sad state of the copy used by those poor mites who are forced, probably under pain of death, to write advertisements for telephone sales people.

The opening lines that I seem to get are either

“Can I speak to Mr Attwood?” to which I reply, “Sorry nobody here of that name.”

Or, "Have you been in an accident that wasn't your fault?"

To which one of my chums said she replies, “No, but I do rather enjoy catching rainbows, or at least I did until one turned round and bit me on the leg last week. But nice of you to ask.” And then, of course, she put the phone down.

The point is that in both cases the callers are advertising what they are selling from the off. There is no intrigue, no build up of interest, no uncertainty. And yet, to my mind, most successful advertisements have within them a certain degree of uncertainty.

Indeed I think that one could create a table showing a positive correlation between the uncertainty engendered by the opening of an advertisement and the chances of anyone buying anything.

Just as we don’t always eat the same food, go and watch the same movie over and over, or have the same conversation with a friend or partner, we want variety in adverts as in life.

If you want to test me on this you can, of course. Send your current advertisement to Stephen@schools.co.uk, and the next time I drop into the office on my way to the Bollard I’ll take a peek and write to you and tell you how you could vary it.

No charge, of course, and no obligation on your part. But it could make you a fortune.


Recent Posts

See All

Is "discontented" a word?

What is the easiest way to build a relationship with people who don’t actually buy from you? A lady asked me to dance at the Toppled Bollard last night. Afterwards she told me she quite liked the weir

Separating oneself out

Why separating oneself out from the crowd is a fundamental part of advertising. I finished my last note from the Toppled Bollard with the wistful thought that sometimes just being silly can separate o

Exaggeration is not necessary

On the other hand, travelling via a roundabout will either bring you back where you started or make you very dizzy. Sometimes I exaggerate, I know. But not this time. This is totally true. A lady phon

CONTACT US

1 Oathill Close, Brixworth, NN6 9BE

01604 880927

​Mon - Fri,

9:00 - 17:00

Schools.co.uk is a trading name of Websites and Blogs Ltd a company registered in England and Wales with company number 07147376.  

Registered address 9 Home Farm Close, Great Oakley, Northants NN18 8HQ

Read the Data Protection Policy for Website and Blogs Ltd here

Privacy Policy - how data is used and stored in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations