Saying what we want to say without really saying it, pt. 1
Subliminal messages are infamous in advertising. They embed messages, ideas, images and invoke emotions that potentially build up to action. One of the most famous documentaries I’ve seen on this is Derren Brown’s The Heist [link]. It’s the best 48 minute experiment you’ll ever see. Derren Brown is a heavyweight in the UK’s advertising and marketing world. He uses mind manipulation techniques to get a group of high-level executives to rob a bank given the perfect opportunity. Kind of like what we do in marketing. Except we get you to buy our products given the conditions are perfect.
In these past recent days, I’ve been experimenting with subliminal messages using the technique of incorporating onomatopoeia.
"HUH? WTF is onomatopoeia?" is probably what you’re thinking. If you can’t remember back in first grade, onomatopoeia is the formation of a sound associated with what is named. Remember now?
For example: Coca-Cola has been experimenting with this technique on their Coke and Sprite Facebook Fan Pages. They ask their fans to describe the sound of opening up a Coke or Sprite bottle. Customers respond by the hundreds by putting their own spin on the sound.
Afterwards, when loyal Facebook fans who also just happen to be customers open up the bottle and hear that sound, guess what happens next… They hear the sound and think of happiness. This ties into their “Happiness” campaign, which you can read about here.
They don’t make any mention of this whole onomatopoeia technique but it’s a trick of the trade. It’s an important tool in your copywriting toolbox.
Here are my top two favorite onomatopoeia tricks. See if you can figure them out:
This past summer I was looking for a job in the creative field. I heard about a position at a very prestigious agency in NYC from a friend-of-a-friend who was the younger step-sister of the person that was hiring. I’m not even going to try to explain that.
However, I took a shot and applied for the position. I found out later that I got it but I would have had to drop out of college and move to NYC immediately. NEGATIVE! Anyways, the application process proved to be really interesting and I stumbled upon one of the questions I answered in my Moleskine.
Q: What’s your writing style like?
Lots of Internet memes, injections of pop culture and offbeat humor. I hate following the AP Stylebook. Who needs rules, right?
Oh, and I like to write about creative marketing. A lot. You can see my work here -> www.betsysoler.com </plug>
What was the point of this, you ask? In today’s modern age, employers don’t need an AP Stylebook stickler. They’re looking for “special” personalities who aren’t afraid to take a jab and wrangle words and ideas. They like it quick, dirty and full of character. They like sass. Not to mention, they’re also looking for your work. Are you publishing your work on the internet? Don’t be afraid if you don’t have a lot of subscribers or followers. They know talent when they see it.
“Digital environments undergo an aging process more aggressive than mere erosion. This aging is not caused by the degradation of the environment, which stays as faithfully preserved as at its creation. Instead, the value of our digital worlds is eroded by relative decrepitude. Our games, our websites, our interfaces are soon rendered obsolete by more fully-realised alternatives.”—The heat death of the digital universe : Cennydd Bowles on user experience (via adactio)
The past couple of months have been full of adventure. I laughed a lot. I cried some. I traveled some more. I delved deeper into life. Most importantly, I took time off to refocus, restructure and reconnect with myself and the people that mean most to me.
After my father passed away in January, my priorities shifted. Things that mattered just didn’t matter anymore. Things that I took for granted, like health care and my family, suddenly meant everything me. And with graduation looming, these changes have been refreshing.
Which leads me to something important I have share…
I’m proud to announce I am the new Social Media Community Manager for Florida International University (FIU). After months of mutual courting, I decided this was the right decision to make. I had a lot of time to think things through, including other incredible job offers. However, FIU extended the all-too-rare opportunity to work on projects on an executive level and have the support of an incredible network to draw from while also honoring my salary requirements. In short, I’m beyond excited to join this very promising institution that is close and dear to my heart and work in the ever evolving world of social media.
I also want to thank Eduardo Merille, Matt Herzberger and Terry Witherell at FIU for all their support. <hug>
There you go. Cat’s out the bag. See you tomorrow morning.
“The best [American] minds aren’t going into physics or science. Instead, they’re going to Wall Street and imploding our economy.”—Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist and Co-Founder of the String Field Theory, on CSPAN.