If someone walks into a party and takes his pants of and swings them over his head, wears a toga, or does a dance with a lampshade on it’ll be memorable. Or in the case of Jim Belushi, wearing a toga and smashing a guitar:
What’s interesting is the next morning, you’ll probably just recall “some crazy guy doing something crazy.” You won’t know his name or anything about him. Everyone remembers Belushi doing crazy things in Animal House, but who remembers his name was Bluto, or anything about him?
In contrast, how many parties have you been to when everyone leaves having met the soft spoken, brilliant artist, businessman, or college student. Maybe this person made a clever point over dinner, or just circulated in an easy fashion listening and chatting intelligently about the ideas and events. Perhaps, he or she was a guest speaker who was invited to say a few words between cocktails and dinner?
The next morning, you turn to you wife or husband and recall this Memorable Person by name. You maybe even Facebook message the Memorable Person with ideas social or business. The Pants Taker Offer - he’s just a crazy story you tell. You don’t need to take your pants off to make an impact. And in fact, if you’re remembered for doing so, no one knows who you are, and no one would think of reaching out to you.
Large interstitial ads, push downs, and skins are the crazy guy at the party. You kind of know something happened that was jarring but not much else. This is why typical display advertising only has a brand lift (increase in favorability or purchase intent as a result of seeing a banner) of say 30% at best.
We’ve seen similar results in our work with GE and Virgin, among others.
What’s amazing is how soft-spoken this social messaging can be. A small icon saying, “Post by Brand X,” or a Twitter feed or even just a Facebook post. If the content is produced by the brand and exemplifies what the brand aspires to, no one misses who the message it from.
(Jump to 3:35 to see ad great Lee Clow explaining this phenomenon)
It makes people love and respect the soft-spoken thoughtful brand – there is no reason to wear a toga.
And so when I’m asked, “is there enough branding?” I point to the data.
The data shows, you don’t need to wear a lampshade online to be noticed and remembered. And in fact, if you do don the toga, the results are pretty clear – when was the last time the guy who twirled his pants was remembered by name, respected, or asked to lunch. You’re jarred by the crazy behavior, but that’s about it.
The way to behave at a party for the long term is pretty clear, and on the social web, it’s just the same.