Sunday, July 18, 2010


In Fort Wayne, we recently had a conference designed to create a community growth vision for the next 10 years.

I was unable to attend in person but was able to follow along on Twitter as they used the hash tag #BeOutrageous.

Terms such as Outrage, Outrageous, or even Out-Of-The Box are used to describe things that are not normal.

Harvey Mackay wrote about this a couple days ago:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week
Outrageous advertising for outrageous results

By Harvey Mackay

"Outrageous" is rarely a way we'd like to be described. It implies that we are way over the top, attention-seeking, bold, wild, defying convention, and a few other descriptions that we might prefer not to be called.

Apply that term to your advertising, however, and what you have is an over-the-top, attention-grabbing, bold, wild, unconventional message that people notice -- and that gets results!

Bill Glazer, one of the most sought-after marketing strategists in the world -- clients routinely pay more than $25,000 -- is offering his outrageously successful system in a new book, "Outrageous Advertising That's Outrageously Successful" for a tiny fraction of his usual fee. It's one of the best bargains of the year.

Bill wrote this book for the "99 percent of small business owners who are dissatisfied with the results they get from their current advertising." He summarizes his system in six points:
  1. Outrageous works. Why it does is irrelevant. It does.
  2. Outrageous works in any media for any product.
  3. People are bored and overwhelmed and want to be amused.
  4. People love outrageous advertising.
  5. Always be on the lookout for the next outrageous idea.
  6. Discover that outrageous advertising is the number one most fun thing you'll do in your career.
Building on these ideas, he has built a system that works on ads in a wide variety of media, including websites, email, newspapers and magazines, yellow pages, business cards, signs, voicemail, trade shop marketing, help wanted and direct mail. He offers hundreds of examples as well as resources for even more ideas.

Bill has a very distinctive business card that I'm guessing few people file away and never look at again. It looks like a folded hundred-dollar bill on one side. The card folds out to reveal six quick selling points about what he offers. Even if the recipient never uses Bill's services, that card gets shown over and over again because it is so novel. Perhaps one of the people who see it will require Bill's services. Sure, it's outrageous, but it works!

Where do these outrageous ideas come from? It all starts with a headline, no matter what the medium, he says. Print ad headlines are obvious. In radio, the headline is the very first thing you hear. Bill warns not to jump at the first headline you think of: "When writing a marketing piece, I will never write less than ten headlines. I have written as many as 100 headlines before I have chosen one I wanted to use."

Bill says whenever he is stumped on an idea or just to get his brain working, "I look at a list of 350 of the best headlines ever written. These are great to turn into templates and create your own ideas. They serve as an Outrageous shortcut." So convinced of this inspiration, he includes 100 of his favorite headlines to get the reader started.

In addition to a killer headline, the ad also must contain an offer and a deadline. Bill's examples are clear, easy to follow and plentiful. He covers the importance of photos and illustrations, graphics and testimonials, which he says are "at least ten times more believable than what you say about yourself."

I was already pretty convinced that Bill knew what he was doing when I read his views on envelopes -- and how outrageous mail advertising starts with the outside of the envelope. The man must have been reading my mind! Everyone gets mail, he reminds us, and unusual-looking mail gets noticed.

In addition to all the good advice and outside resources to study, there's even a list of holidays (like National Hat Day) to connect your advertising to. National Hat Day? That is pretty outrageous. But if it helps you sell your product, would you still think it outrageous?

Bill describes his system this way:
  • More outrageous gets more attention.
  • Know your audience; don't be offensive but never be boring.
  • You can advertise really outrageously in some really outrageous places.
  • You can be really outrageous without spending a lot of money by identifying opportunities you already have such as an on-hold message, vehicles, signs, etc.
  • You can be really outrageous by using the senses of hearing, seeing, feeling and even smelling.
Mackay's Moral: If you want outrageous results, you need to try outrageous advertising.

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