MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

Why you’d sell more to be by showing, not telling

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I’m predominantly a visual learner. I retain things best when I’ve been shown them. I’m also something of a kinesthetic learner – that is, I learn by doing. I believe there’s a strong connection between the two.

If you show me something – an image or even text – I am able to form quite a comprehensive mental picture and this helps me retain and apply the information more effectively.

When it comes to learning tasks that require action, things work out best when I’m able to do them. I often only glance at instructions, preferring to try and figure things out by tackling them head on. This method has its drawbacks. There are several people who have seen my unholy reactions during bouts with Ikea furniture (true story – I once got instruction in French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. No English. I had misplaced my Enigma machine so it was a trying experience to say the least.)

I raise this having discovered what SSI Shredding Systems is doing to market their line of shredding solutions. Their corporate website has all the usual trimmings. But what really caught my eye was the Shred of the Month section. Here, each month, SSI places a video of a different item being torn to pieces by one of their machines. Here is their video from April where they shred a couch. I believe at one point you can actually hear the couch screaming.

What I like about this is that they posted the videos on YouTube as well as their own site. The couch video has been viewed over 50 000 times.

They also, on their website, let people sign up to get the shred of the month via email. They can easily get your permission to do a product demonstration for you every month.

The main point is that they found a way to make something industrial and practical fun and exciting. They allowed me to experience the raw power of their shredders. This is why car commercial never feature a frustrated driver sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Those commercials are trying to show what their car could do for me while the reality is I will rarely, and possibly never, shoot down a winding moutain road in a high performance German car (my loss I expect).

These SSI video, however, actually show what their can do. But at the same time, it does create, like the car commercials try to do, a brand experience. They speak directly to the little boy that lives inside me and likes to see things explode or crash or be shredded (btw…this also applies to women too…who doesn’t like fireworks?). And they do all of this without resorting to fabricated, sanitized or idealized situations.

I don’t need SSI’s products. I likely never wiil. But if anyone asks me about shredders, guess who I’ll be tellng them about?

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

May 29, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Marketing

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