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THOSE WHO TELL THE STORIES RULE THE WORLD – Hopi American Indian Proverb
Some things don’t change. Even when everything else does. The whole world flipping and flopping seemingly every month. COVID-19 protocols require this and that. And then it’s not required. Huh? What applies today might not apply tomorrow. Rules flex, change, disappear, reappear. Right now, today, change seems to be the only constant.
Change, and the confusion that comes with it. Ugh.
And yet, if you are making advertising brand messaging for your casino, the fundamental principles are the same as they ever were. Nothing confusing about it. The rules that applied 50 years ago still apply today. In fact, the rules I’m talking about haven’t changed in … forever, maybe?
A quick refresher on those forever “ad” rules:
1. Be different.
Don’t sell the same ideas as your competition. Coca-Cola ads don’t look like Pepsi ads, even though they are selling pretty much the same thing. The ads for my favorite hotel, Thompson Hotels, don’t look like Holiday Inn Express ads. (Both have had amazing campaigns, but they are totally different).
2. Fill your message with emotion, because you are trying to get people to FEEL something about your brand.
Information is helpful, but as a secondary layer. Information helps justify what your audience WANTS. Use emotion to connect with them, to make them WANT to choose you. There’s an old salesman’s cliché – Information tells, emotion sells. An ad full of information without any emotional content is a wasted opportunity.
3. Tell your brand’s story in your ad campaigns – AS A STORY, NOT A LIST OF AMENITIES/SERVICES – and make your guests the heroes of those stories.
Human beings have been sharing important information in story form since the dawn of human societies. Where’s the good fishing hole? Where can I hide from the saber-toothed tiger? How do we sneak up on the enemy and kill them? Stories are how humans communicate information and always have. In school, in church, at the election podium – stories are how information is shared with us. Your ads are no different. A good story is always the answer.
In practical terms, then, your next steps should look like this. First, avoid making brand ads and communications that start with information. Instead, start with a feeling. As in, I want my audience to FEEL this way or that way. Then build up an interesting and (please) unique story around your casino brand that suggests that feeling. Use the guest as the hero, include emotional triggers, avoid listing your stuff. (Every one of your competitors has pretty much the same stuff, so that’s not really a strong selling idea, right?). And make sure that your ad feels like it’s telling a story.
Trust me (or go grab any book about advertising you can find on Amazon), a good story has been the answer since the dawn of human society. Thousands of years. So, when you sit down to figure out what you want to say next, make sure that you are paying attention to the three rules listed above. And make sure that you are thinking in terms of a story.
Those who tell the stories rule the world.