How To Start & Grow Your Business

Humanize Your Commercial Client

Jeffrey Hedquist
Oct 23rd, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 1 min read
  • Hummy's

    1People buy from people, not from institutions. 2Let the audience in on your client’s little faults. 3A little self-effacing humor can go a long way.
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Abstract blue wall interior and windows Photo Credit: babenkodenis

A little help for your approach to advertising.

People buy from people, not from institutions. Advertisers often forget this, and are more concerned about their perfect “image” than about relating to their audience as fellow human beings.

It’s not a perfect world, and listeners recognize this, so a commercial that tries to portray the advertiser as perfect, doesn’t ring true.

Let the audience in on your client’s little faults, the chinks in the armor. For example, the car dealer who says, “We have the best deals, the biggest selection, the friendliest salespeople, but…our coffee’s not so good,” allows the listener to discover his embarrassing secret. Don’t be afraid to joke about your hard-to-find location, the tacky sign you inherited from the former owner, the boss’s idiosyncrasies.

A little self-effacing humor can go a long way. So many commercials are over-serious about praising a mythically perfect advertiser. Give listeners something to smile about. If a listener can say “Yeah, that’s me. I’ve done that.” Or “OK, the advertiser is a human being. His product or service is pretty darn good, but he’s not trying to hype me.” you’ve established a bond. Now your audience is involved.

Give your client the opportunity to poke fun at himself, or at least admit that he’s human and punch up sales.

About the Author

Jeffrey Hedquist

Jeffrey Hedquist has been helping advertisers poke fun at themselves for years. To get your very own free copy of “Hedquist’s List of 375 Cliches,” email me and I’ll send them. Guaranteed to reduce commercial effectiveness. © 1997-2015 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.