People Buy From People: Humanize Your Commercial Client

We have a real cool treat for you guys today!  We have a ‘guest writer’ by the name of Jeffrey Hedquist to give you a quick quip that should help with your marketing and maybe inspire some ideas for your next round of advertising.  Jeff recently spotted an article I did that…was…well…inspired by him!  He sent me an e-mail and I invited him to help educate us!  Mr. Hedquist is really smart guy I read & listened to a lot when I worked for WRNJ Radio.  I am honored to share some of his knowledge to you!

Humanize Your Commercial Client

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 and punch up sales.

Jeffrey Hedquist has been helping advertisers poke fun at themselves for years. 

To get your very own free copy of “Hedquist’s List of 226 Cliches,” email me jeffrey@hedquist.com and I’ll send them. Guaranteed to reduce commercial effectiveness.

© 1997-2014 Hedquist Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.


Hi, I'm a marketing guy, who knows how to make websites. Every so often I see or think of things, that will be of value to others. It's either that or I just need to 'rage-vent.'

tommy[at]iheartblank[dot]net

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