When you’re trying to come up with a great concept for your marketing campaigns, do you find they often fall short?
Do they seem really clever at first, and then they’re just confusing to everyone else?
It happens quite often, especially in most of the TV ads you see. Of course, there are plenty of great ads out there, too. What separates the shrug-inducing from the memorable ones is having one awesome, powerful idea.
As I occasionally mention, I first learned copywriting and marketing skills from the good folks at American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI). One of their founders, Mark Ford, developed this concept called the Rule of One. Originally designed for direct response, you could pretty much use this in any kind of marketing out there…and get the results you’ve only dreamed about.
The Rule of One boils down to:
- One core emotion
- One powerful idea
- One single desirable benefit
- One inevitable response
(Thanks to Will Newman, one of AWAI’s teachers and staff writers, for this great article)
You need to have all of these to make any marketing campaign successful. Your website, social media and email copy must convey each of these to make it easy for your audience get hooked and buying your travel products and services.
And yes, like with any simple but powerful ideas, it’s easy to understand but super-tough to execute. So let’s take a look at some vivid examples with two recent Super Bowl ads:
Here’s an ad for Squarespace. What the heck was this all about??? This ad went for too many ideas, and from the commercial alone, I don’t know what Squarespace does, or what they actually sell (turns out they help you build a website).
Then you have this ad for – yep, no surprises here – Budweiser:
Even though it really has nothing to do with beer, it does have a lot to do with brand image. Budweiser’s ads always seem to be among the most popular and talked-about in the Super Bowl, all in a good way.
When you see this heartwarmer – about a Lab puppy and a Clydesdale being best buds (pun completely intended) – you associate Budweiser with that good feeling. It’s a strong big idea (friendship) with one main emotion (love). The benefit is refreshment and enjoying an admittedly average beer. And the response? That when you go out to the super market or liquor store today, you’re going to think of those cute animals over the “Tap into the Rockies” thing from Coors, or the association you have from some other brew.
Now think about how you can apply the rule of one to your travel business. What kind of rule of one can you come up with for your marketing? If you sell hiking and kayaking trips to the Sierra Mountains, here’s an example of how this could work
- One core emotion – excitement
- One powerful idea – personalized wilderness adventures in the High Sierras
- One single desirable benefit – small group tour ensures you’ll have the active vacation experience you want
- One inevitable response – book today, and receive and 30% discount
See how that all works?
How can use one or all four of the concepts of the rule of one in your marketing today? Share your thoughts below!