I don’t think there is any marketing slogan that irritates me more than this formula:
Think of X, think of me.
The concept is correct. Every company wants to be top-of-mind when it comes to a particular topic among a particular group. But to stake your claim to someone’s subconscious like this is crass and indecent.
The movie Inception discussed the difficulty of putting a thought deep into someone’s mind, which is the heart of what this formula is going for. Unless you are interested in taking the shortcut by infiltrating someone’s dreams, you are going to have to earn the right to be in their mind.
You have to put in the hard work. You have to show up consistently when everyone else goes away. You have to impress them over and over again. You have to demonstrate that you are trustworthy, that you are generous, that you aren’t just looking for a quick sale. You have to prove that you are on the customer’s side and that you have the same interests.
You don’t just get there by asking to be there.
The shamelessness of this formula reminds me of one of my child’s books where the sign outside a store says “Come in and Buy Stuff”. Nothing could be more ridiculous.
In an episode of Mad Men, a junior copywriter approaches her boss, Don Draper, with an idea for an ad featuring a beautiful woman. Draper rejects the idea, prompting the creator to say “Sex sells.”
“Says who? Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than shoeshine. You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex.”
Don’t be crass with your marketing. Be sincere. Create emotion and create a connection.