An Ad Agency Creative and a Casino GM Walk Into a Singles Bar…

Advertising is About Selling, Not Product Instructions

Sponsored Content by Red Circle

I will start this by telling a joke, and it goes something like this.

A guy walks into a singles bar, sits  next to a pretty woman, and offers to buy her a drink. She’s a little interested because the guy’s not bad looking. He seems confident enough. Quality shoes, good suit, expensive watch. She says yes. Bourbon and water, thank you.

The guy orders her drink and a scotch and rocks for himself, and then, orderly, like a lawyer, he pulls a folded piece of paper from his breast pocket, writing on both sides. He smooths it out flat on the bar top in front of the woman — apparently for her reading. Smiling, he launches into a recitation of the document’s contents, which turns out to be his … dating resume? Job title, salary, number of bedrooms and bathrooms in his house, the size of his mortgage, dating history, favorite tv shows, list of where he shops for clothing, favorite vacation spots, and retirement plans. Small type, with lots of facts and figures. At the bottom of the back page, a list of references (other women). They will say nice things about me, he says. The drink arrives. Cheers, he says with a smile.

WTF was that?! The woman weirds out, excuses herself, moves six chairs down the bar, and faces the other way, avoiding looking at the weirdo. That was straight-up bananas! I mean, he’s crazy, right?! Who thinks that’s how dating works?!

Big swing, big miss for this guy!

At that moment, the door bangs open, and a second guy walks into the bar. The woman turns and sees him. Bright-colored jacket, linen shirt with some necklaces. He has too many necklaces, but he wears them with confidence. So, it kinda works. Same with the hair. It’s too tall, with body and verve like he just stood up from a long session in a hairdresser’s chair. The pants are tight, too. The woman’s dad — if he was here with her — would say this second guy is trying too hard.

And yet, the woman can’t help looking at him. Staring at him. This second guy is so unusual. Not like the other guys in the bar.

The second guy sits down next to her, slides his chair close to hers and, smiling, asks her name. But before she can answer, he’s making a cute little compliment, something that’s funny enough to make her laugh a bit. They share a laugh, and he’s looking her right in the eyes, smiling. Then he waves over the bartender, says a clever thing making the bartender laugh, too, and orders a Jack on the rocks.

Turning back to her, giving her all his attention, and she’s feeling like he’s there just to talk her, like maybe he came a long way even, just to see her, and the second guy now tells her why he drinks this particular drink. Because that’s what Frank Sinatra used to drink. Yes, Frank Sinatra — and he was the coolest dude to ever walk the earth. Frank was THE MAN. With a shake of his fancy hair, this second guy asks her what SHE thinks about Frank, his music and his coolness. Frank was great, she says. Love and romance run through so much of his music. And he had that old-school handsomeness to him. Yes, he was THE MAN. This second guy agrees with her, laughs and smiles, and tells her she’s RIGHT! And tells her she’s a fan like he’s a fan. Frank’s their guy! The drink arrives. Have you ever tried Jack, he asks and offers her a sip. He smiles and winks. You like it, right? Their faces close as they talk, knees are one inside the other; yes, she likes the drink. Loves it, actually. Why hasn’t she been drinking this all along?! He’s asking her more questions; she’s laughing and talking about herself. He orders two more Jacks, and they move to a booth in the corner…

The first guy is sitting alone at the bar, watching the ball game on TV.

Now, which one of these guys understands how selling works?


Hey, can I come clean? That’s not really a joke. Way too long, and it’s not really funny. It’s more like a dumb story Chad Germann would tell when he’s trying hard to make a lecture-y point. Typical Chad — always barking about advertising theory.

Hey, more coming clean.

The title of the article is wrong. I should have titled the article: A GUY WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO SELL THINGS AND A GUY WHO DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT SELLING WALKING INTO A BAR…. Because not all advertising people know how to sell. Some are just sign painters. And not all casino GM’s fail at picking up women. I’ve run with some who are rather good at it, actually.

But most GM’s don’t understand that advertising is selling, and selling is advertising.

Same principles. They think — I’ve got this beautiful building full of stuff, so let’s show the stuff and make sure people know how much stuff we have! No, no, no, no! Don’t list your resume. Information isn’t selling. Information tells. (Boring.) Emotion sells. Do you know why I know this is a true ism? Here’s a science lesson mixed in with that dumb non-joke lecture pretending to be a story. I learned this from reading Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why.”

The human brain has two distinct parts — 1.) the older, lizard-brain, which controls animal impulses, the fight or flight reactions, emotion and all decision-making. And 2.) the new, modern human brain where language and logic and reasoning live — but no decision-making. Decision-making lives in the ancient lizard-brain portion. Here’s a cold, hard truth — that sometimes seems contrary — Humans make decisions based on emotion, in our lizard brain, and then we rationalize it using our modern brain. Emotion first, reasoning and logic comes second. That’s science.

So, casino GM’s out there, if you are you listing your casino’s facts and stats and hoping people decide in your favor, please stop. It’s the wrong approach. It’s so wrong it’s kind of a joke.

Ha ha. That was a little funny, right?

But kidding aside, here’s the best non-joke advice I have to give. This works in sales, this works in dating, this works in casino advertising. If you want an ad that sells, try to walk in looking different, tell a story that turns on emotion not information, and make it about them. Trust me, it works.

Or you can sit on that bar stool alone, waiting for someone to come along who’d rather read your resume than laugh and have fun. Good luck with that.

Are you ready for a new approach?

Chad Germann
Red Circle