We all have systems and research data that we can rely on to craft compelling advertising campaigns, but have you ever seen an approach and wondered, “How did that idea work?!”

In this episode of On the Mic with Ad Results Media, Lindsay and Nate are joined by Senior Copywriter, Ari Diozon, to break down human behavior and the subtle ways that advertisers can tap into human psychology to build more creative and impactful ads.

(0s): We actually uses Scribd in our home.

(3s): Do you really love your Sleep Number Bed? And we do.

(6s): Vizzy has been in our fridge all summer.

(24s): Advertising is a numbers game, except when it isn't, because despite what some economists would have us believe, human behavior can't be supervised, summarized, or prophesied by a mathematical formula. And that's why the brands who win big, whether at the Super Bowl or in your podcast feed, are the ones who consistently let logical reasoning play second fiddle to emotional resonance instead of the other way around.

(46s): In today's episode of On the Mic, we're unreasonably excited to have senior copywriter Ari Diozon join the show to chat about the irrationality at the Center of Human Behavior and how an understanding of human psychology leads to more creative and impactful ads.

(1m 1s): Well, Ari, thanks so much for joining us on the podcast. You are at this point a frequent friend of the pod, but for those who maybe haven't heard episodes with you on them, could you just briefly introduce yourself?

(1m 12s): For sure. I am Ari and I am a senior copywriter here at Ad Results Media, and it's always a fun time to hop on and chat with you guys.

(1m 22s): Absolutely. Well, today's subject is a little, maybe somewhat off the beaten path for some of the, the subjects that we've covered in the past, but I think as copywriters and people who listen to a lot of ads, Lindsay, on the audio insight side, I know that you I'm sure are thinking about this a lot. You know, we find that surprisingly not logical approaches can be really effective. And some of the best ads don't look like a straight line where people are just following the standard rubric.

And I was thinking about how, you know, the reasoning advertising works is because it connects with this psychological truth about being a human, which is that we're not objective and we're not purely rational. And I was really struck by this famous ad man from Ogilvy, whose name is Rory Sutherland. He has a great book out and he has this quote, which I found really inspiring and helpful and I'm just curious what you guys think about this. But the quote is basically this, the opposite of a good idea can also be a good idea.

And I just love, there's something about that, it's like a little nugget of illogic that I just find really cool. I'm curious if that makes sense to you guys, or if that's like kind of crazy or stupid. I don't know.

(2m 41s): I mean, I love it. I think it's, I think it's a great sentiment and a good way to approach concepting, especially for advertising because it adds like another layer to that experience where you're not just taking something at face value, but you're thinking about it, right? You're thinking about what the information or the art or the messaging is or isn't. And it's not just that you're being told something and it's kind of like a one way communication, but really you're kind of interacting with what's in front of you and thinking about more than just the ad.

(3m 18s): Yeah, for me, I, I use it as a, like a thought starter almost. Whenever I'm trying to come up with an idea, I'll be like, Okay, the, the thing that I want to say is, I don't know, let's give an example. Like, well, we were talking about a, a apparel brand, so it's like one of the things that everyone says is it's comfortable, it's super comfortable and that's what every, you know, whether it's an underwear brand or whether it's a pajama brand, whether it's socks, whatever it is, it's like comfort. The benefit is it's comfortable. And so the obvious thing is people wanna feel comfortable whenever they're wearing clothes, but then it's like, can the opposite of that also be true?

Which it seems like the obvious answer is no, the opposite can't be true, but I guarantee you that someone has found a way to make discomfort or, you know, something that feels opposite of comfort. Really powerful

(4m 6s): Beauty is pain.

(4m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. And part of it is just like a way to get outside the box to use a cliche, an ironic cliche there. So I mean, basically this is a very loose conversation, but I I thought it would be cool to talk about, because part of why this stuff, you know, the irrationality and the illogical approach works is because, you know, people, they think that they know, Like we think that we know why we feel a certain way about, you know, people, brands, products. But the truth is, if you're asking people in a survey for their thoughts, you're getting a very distorted answer.

And it's not because people are liars, it's because actually when you understand how the brain works and how people work, how the mind, you know, constructs this narrative that we're all thinking is, is this is reality. The the truth is we have like this tiny little iceberg tip of knowledge of what's really going on below the surface. Understanding how we distort the world in our minds can actually help us make ads that are smart because they are speaking to the way people feel at a level that they might not be able to verbalize.

So I'm curious if you guys had any thoughts on the general ways that people are biased and how maybe that might impact the approach that advertisers can take?

(5m 26s): I think really maybe considering bias within different audiences and how like a, a more targeted audience sees a product or a service or, or just a, a slice of life differently than someone else and how they would kind of like separate themselves into this is how I think about things compared to a group that I'm not part of. Totally. And of course that that's all a subconscious action, right? Yeah. Not everybody is thinking about, Oh, I do this because other people do that, or I think this way and other people think differently and that shapes how I react to them or how I present myself to the world.

But I think being really cognizant of how those things kind of interact with each other and where whatever your, whatever your advertising kind of fits into that is really valuable to make it resonate more, to get at a deeper part of your audience, you have to understand how they think and what they think about other things and really kind of like placing yourself in a very specific point that you can kind of not own, right? Because it's just something that's inherent in everyone's minds, but to really tap into that.

And I think that's how you make messaging that really sticks to people rather than something that they just skip over or forget about immediately.

(6m 51s): Totally. I think that the immediate connection that this may me think of is people will line up and say, I'm a dog person or I'm a cat person. Like, we have these ways of saying, this is what I'm into. This is, you know, I, for me it's Topo Chico, I'm a Topo Chico person as opposed to a Pellegrino person. But you know, I, I drink an irrational amount of Topo Chico. Like if you just looked at like, what would be a smart thing to do with my life, maybe the amount of Topo Chico I drink is, is way in one extreme, but it's because the thing that is motivating that choice for me is something kind of irrational, which is I love the stuff, I love it, and you know, people do things for their pets that, you know, I'm not, I'm not judging this by the way, I'm just saying people do things for, for their pets because they love them, that it wouldn't necessarily come out of a spreadsheet to do that, if that makes sense.

So I like that. I like the idea of, that's sort of like a tribal thing almost, where people will line up or group up and say, people like us do things like this and yeah, I totally agree.

(7m 54s): And you kind of attach to brands that that understand that, right? So

(7m 58s): Definitely

(7m 60s): I guess if we're using Topo Chico as an example, it's not super flashy. There's no like limited edition bottles and labels and they're not a very splashy brand. And if you kind of think of like when you order a Topo Chico, you're probably not at a super fancy restaurant. You're probably either hanging out with your friends or by yourself and you're just drinking some bubbly water. And I think, you know, I that that might also be an interesting thing of, is that kind of indicative of the people that you attract or is that just like the brand is what it is and do you change yourself for the people that end up showing up?

I guess that's another kind of strategy to think about if you want to change your brand for your audience or if you just try and look for another audience.

(8m 54s): I think that's interesting cuz I'm, I'm you're talking about Topo Chico and I'm thinking about Diet Coke girlies and there's like a whole like subset of Diet Coke girls and you have your Diet Coke in the afternoon and it's like your little treat and people talk about, oh, I tried to give Diet Coke up because soda's not great for you. And I was just sadder for it. Like I miss my, I miss my afternoon treat. But it's kind of funny because, you know, Diet Coke came out and it's this diet product and a lot of the marketing was wrapped up around like weight loss and now it's not so much I, I don't know how this happened, I'd have to look into it, but it's not so much like, oh, I drink this because it is a diet product.

Like it just has become this product that people enjoy. And I have this very specific memory of VidCon. I had like an hour long conversation about what's the best diet coke like, is it McDonald's, like fountain diet coke? Because it's like kind of spicy and refreshing all the way down to like how the worst Diet Coke is, like two liter bottled diet Coke. Anyway, I just, yeah,

(10m 3s): No, oh my god, that's so right. I've never thought about that before, but I mean, I guess since we're talking about it, I like it in a can. Yes. There's just like a very specific flavor to it. Yep. I, I don't know. Yeah, I, I mean there's also people who are Coke zero people, like they won't drink Diet Coke, but they love Coke Zero and will not drink regular Coke.

(10m 27s): Yeah. And it's just, it's interesting because you would think if, you know Coca-Cola was going to approach advertising Diet Coke, you would focus on the diet part, right? But the fan base doesn't seem to be focused on the diet part. They just happen to like it as a standalone beverage

(10m 47s): For the taste. Or you have people that when they order it, they're like, Oh, I'm not ordering it because it's diet, it's because I like it.

(10m 54s): I wouldn't be surprised to, I mean, I don't know how you would even study this, but I bet that the fact that it's a diet soda has some effect, but it's obviously not that you're consciously choosing it because it's diet, it's something, it's some kind of nebulous thing that it's hard to quantify and maybe it's just a flavor for people. But I'm also suspicious of, you know, from the Pepsi challenge to today, I'm sure like we're, I don't know, I'm, I'm more convinced that people are drinking mostly branding and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

It's just I bet that my palette is not so nuanced that if you put, well, let's go back to Topo, if you put Topo in a couple other sparkling waters, I'm not gonna stand here and beat you. Like, I can definitely tell I'm confident, but I'm also, I've seen people be over confident in those kind of taste tests. And I just think it's, there's a surprising placebo effect kind of going on with brands. And to me that's just like speaking to this whole thing, the power of the sort of irrational and arguably wasteful act of building a brand.

I don't know if you guys are familiar with this term, this kind of goes into like a distortion or a cognitive distortion sort of. Although I'm, I'm skipping around in my original plan, but this kind of ties in. So there's this idea of costly signaling, and I guess it's in like evolutionary biology and I think it actually maps onto advertising really well. I think this also came from Rory Sutherland, maybe he referenced this in one of his books. But basically the idea is that animals and including humans just will send these, they're honest signals.

They're not deceptive signals, but we'll basically try to project, you know, the kind of person that we are, the kind of creature that we are, positive characteristics about ourselves. Like I have access to resources, I I'm fit, I'm not going to drop dead basically. And it's not just for mating, but that, I mean I think obviously that's part of it. It's also with humans because it's not just about forming like a family unit, it's like about being a social creature, a hyper social creature. We have these sort of deep evolutionary biological impulses to signal, Hey, I'm doing really well, I'm the kind of person you want around, that kind of thing.

And advertising is almost in a, in a, at a corporate level, a similar sort of costly signaling work. If you spend a lot of money on a Super Bowl commercial and then you try to define the exact return on investment of that Super Bowl commercial without taking into account the fact that it's extravagant actually has like this disproportionate effect on how people perceive your brand. You know what I mean? So I guess this is all kind of going back to the idea of drinking Topo Chico versus another sparkling water.

I've drank many a store brand sparkling water, and I think that objectively they're good, but I still prefer Topo Chico partly because of the brand that's been built and the way it makes me feel that it's not just how it feels whenever I'm taking a sip, it's something bigger. It's something that I'm projecting whenever I'm holding a Topo Chico bottle on the mini zoom meetings that I have been holding a Topo Chico bottle.

(14m 4s): Well, yeah, like it's a whole experience, right? Like it's the weight of the glass, It's like, it's like a very familiar thing to have on your desk, right? It's not just like a, it is a Topo Chico bottle because a lot of other drinks don't come in a glass bottle. And I think it, it's stuff like that that like we really latch onto. So it's not just about how the brand kind of like presents itself, but it's the experience that you have with the product or the service that you latch onto.

But going back to the Super Bowl ad thing, I think what's really interesting is that the fact that it is a Super Bowl ad also shapes how we end up writing the ads. Because the way that you write the Super Bowl ad is not the same way that you, you would write a regular daytime TV ad now it has to be splashy or it has to be interesting or it has to be disruptive or it has to make you want to cry. Like there's, there's so much more, there's like a higher stake involved because of the medium that it's in that not only changes how people receive it, but also how we as advertisers write

(15m 16s): It. And the stakes are so much higher too. Like if you fail at the Superbowl ad, it's like tripping on your gown at the Oscars or something as opposed to just like stumbling on the street on a normal day. It's a bigger, it's a much bigger deal. The arena is much more important. So yeah, you're trying in a way, you're trying harder to make it look like you weren't trying very hard and you're just like killing it, you know? And this in the way that I guess a great performer does that, but I think it is, it's something about the fact that you're on the big stage in and of itself actually says something about your brand to people.

Like, oh, they had a Superbowl ad that has like a even separate from the ad that has a certain effect. And obviously it comes with, it comes with a big price tag, but it's still significant

(16m 2s): Thinking about the quote that you shared at the beginning, the opposite of a good idea is also a good idea. There's also the Superbowl ads that just straight up, what was it, E Etrade when they said, we just wasted all of this money on this Super Bowl,

(16m 19s): Right?

(16m 20s): And it's weird because we start to think of things differently when we have that kind, those stakes, right? And then you're, you're also sending a message about how you're using that money as like a meta commentary for who you're trying to convince or who you're trying to attract to your brand.

(16m 39s): I like the idea of it being meta. I feel like that that really only works in a way. Like if you, I guess it's not true, it could definitely work in other, I mean like you can have a social post or some sort of a, an ad where you're, especially if it's a paid, I think where you go meta, but it's, it's also the kind of thing where, you know, doing it wrong, it can come off as a gimmick. It can come off as something that feels cheap or not, you know, well executed. I think a lot of people are like, Oh, what if we did a meta thing and I've seen it just look sloppy or not fully thought out.

But if you go meta about going meta on the biggest stage, you know, with a Super Bowl ad and you're the right brand, and especially if the thing that you're trying to get across is that sort of intangible way that you want people to feel about you. It can, it can be an awesome approach. I, I'm not sure if I know that specific e-trade one, but

(17m 34s): When y'all were talking about the Super Bowl, I was thinking about was it Liquid Death that like hired witches to hex the Super Bowl and they like flew 'em out there and I don't necessarily think they paid for a liquid death ad, but it was an interesting way to get involved without like creating a, a traditional commercial.

(17m 53s): Yeah, I feel like stunts like that are really sly and I think when they're done right, they're really effective a sly way to sort of bask in the aura of the, the Super Bowl ad without having to spend all the money to get on the stage. But it's like, it, it feels, especially for a brand like Liquid Death where a huge part of their thing, they're not going through it in the most conventional way. And so that works for them.

(18m 16s): Is it their ad where they, they have like a whole commercial and it's, it's very like high budget. It looks, it looks very similar to like a Gatorade ad, but instead of having like a high big name athlete, they have one of the water boys as like their spokesperson going through the, being in the middle of the field with the, with the towel and like giving the water and everything. Anyway, just, just a different way of going about it.

(18m 44s): I guess part of this conversation for me is thinking about, well we started talking about the the ways that people, specifically the people that you might be advertising to have a sort of bias or some sort of cognitive distortion, some sort of way of seeing the world that's not purely objective, purely rational. But I also think at another level as an advertising agency or as a brand that's getting into advertising, there's a certain bias toward logic, toward purely rational trying to, to say the most objective, the most logical, the most data driven approach always works.

And I definitely don't want to undermine the value of data by any means, but there's this saying that if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And while that's not a data point, I do think that there is something true to that statement, especially when it comes to market research. So one of the interesting things to me about market research is a lot of times we're asking people questions without ever questioning the questions that are being asked and what's being left out and how, you know, the the type of spotlight and where we're shining, it might be revealing something that's interesting, but it, what is it leaving out what's on the outside of the spotlight?

And to me that's where this conversation really comes from. It's if we're not thinking, if we're not trying to shine a spotlight on the ways that people won't be answering a survey, not that they will be answering inaccurately or dishonesty, but the ways that they don't actually always have perfect access and perfect awareness of what's going on, then it kinda shuts down the kind of thing that I think as copywriters, just as creative people in general, we all appreciate, which is being hyper curious and, and wanting to ask more and more questions.

So just a thought that I feel like maybe as a brand who's doing market research, one of the best things that people can do is to think how can we ask even more even better questions? How can we dig past the obvious sort of data points to the larger why? And I don't know if that there's any specifics that are coming to mind for you guys around that, but I think it's so important and it's also so overlooked.

(21m 6s): I think maybe, probably a good example of that is trying to sell social media to a brand or to a client because I think a lot of brands are scared of funneling more resources into social media because it's harder to see a return on investment or okay, I have all of this engagement, but how does that translate to my bottom line? And of course that's, that's a difficult thing to prove, but at the same time you have to consider what it's like for your brand to be part of your a's everyday experience, right?

Like if they interact with content that is interesting to them that makes them laugh or that makes them think or that makes them go vote or something that has nothing to do with your brand but still has to do with your, your brand's personality, your image, the people that you want to appeal to and have them, you know, kind of follow along with your greater mission besides to make money, right? So maybe it's showing off your company's activism or just making the people that buy your stuff laugh is so, so valuable because then they talk about it with their friends, they remember it years later.

And I think those are the kinds of things that you kind of have to be thinking about if you're gonna operate in new advertising spaces. And while they're not new now, but you know, just non, non-traditional I guess. And it's difficult to get people to think that way because it is so abstract and so unprovable and there's no dollar amount attached to that. Or maybe there is, I'm sure some giant company does have, has somehow figured out how to statistically convert like the number of your Instagram followers to your revenue.

But I mean, I don't know that personally.

(23m 6s): Well, and that makes me think of like what about the opportunity cost of not being on social media? How do you factor in the reward that you might be passing up? Like you're, yeah, you're not risking anything and you're not losing anything if you aren't investing into some of these platforms, but you also don't know what you're missing out on if you're not trying and testing it. And going back to the idea of the costly signaling thing, you know, if you're tiptoeing into social media is very different than really diving all in.

It feels different for someone who's using the app to see a brand that's clearly checking the box with a social media post as opposed to a brand that's using it as a platform.

(23m 47s): Yeah, in some ways it's, it's worse to do it badly than it is to do it not at all. And you kind of have to balance how much you put into it versus what you want to get out from it. And then also consider what if someone does try to find you online and they don't see a Google listing or they don't see anybody talking about you on YouTube, then maybe they just, they just stop caring because well if no one else cares, maybe I don't care about it.

And that it's almost like a exponentially negative thing to try and be interested in something and then realize like, wait, there's no information about this anywhere. Not even from the brand themselves. So if they don't care, then why, why should I? Right.

(24m 34s): I'm curious, do you guys have any brands or any ads or just any sort of examples of sort of irrational or not quite as objective approach to advertising or brand building or something in that realm that you've come across in the wild?

(24m 49s): Any brand that advertises on Bill Burr?

(24m 53s): Yes.

(24m 54s): I mean he is just, he goes against every best practice that we have in place and, and I don't know, he works, you know, for as long as I've been here he's been one of our top performers and brands that run with him, they almost always convert. So it, like, through this entire conversation I was like, Man, Bill Burr,

(25m 17s): I feel like there's something about a brand being willing to advertise, whether it's Bill Burr specifically or just advertising with creators who are gonna do their own thing no matter what we, we can try to put Bill Burr in a box until we're blue in the face in our, our, you know, typing fingers or bleeding. But the, the reality is that the thing that makes Bill Burr, Bill Burr is that the more that you try to box him in, the less he's gonna listen to you. And it's not even like him not caring.

I think it's just like he's, he's a comedian. Like that's what he, that's literally his brand is saying, you know, F you Yeah. And I'm gonna do whatever I want.

(25m 57s): Yeah. When he approaches these things, he's being unapologetically himself and you know, it works for him and it it works for brands. So

(26m 5s): Yeah, because I think even then the audience kind of latches onto the fact that the brands that do run on his shows are open to that.

(26m 14s): Exactly.

(26m 15s): Right. So that means that they've kind of opened themselves up to that level of authenticity because otherwise there are super tight like huge brand books of things that you can and can't say and the kinds of things that you can talk about and all that. But I think when people recognize that that authenticity is allowed or a brand feels secure enough in their own thing to let people talk about it however they want, even if it ends up being the butt of the joke, it's still the feature and people still are drawn to it.

Because if you're able to laugh at yourself or make fun of yourself or point out your own negative things, then people are bought in because they feel like there's an honesty there that is very, so often not in other brands that they see or other shows, other influencers or whatever. And I think, like you said, we're very social creatures and we can kind of tell when things aren't real, right? And we react negatively to that because we're like, Okay, well you're trying too hard or you're not telling me the whole story.

But even if it's negative and you can laugh at it, you can be like, Okay, there's some, there's something here. Maybe I wanna learn more. Maybe I wanna just outright by or whatever it is that you're selling.

(27m 39s): That also makes me think of the, the kind of chaotic nature of duo lingos marketing approach. Some of the more negative feedback that Duo Lingo has received from users is that they are really incessant if you don't like complete classes or courses, like they will send you emails and they will send you push notifications and it's like you haven't, like for a day they, they like they actively annoy you. Yeah. You haven't logged in for two days, you haven't logged in for like what are you doing?

What are you doing with your life? And Duo Lingo has really leaned into that and they have this one, I'd have to go back and find it, it's been a while, but they had this one TikTok video where they just leaned into the fact that like they are coming after you for not doing your duo courses. So they had like Duo the Owl and he was like stalking a user who like wasn't like logging in and completing their courses and he was like outside of his house and then he was outside of his work and then I think like it culminated with him like being outside of his car with a knife and he's like, do your classes.

And like they just, they just really kind of leaned into this like negative aspect of their app. So they're a good example of kind of going against traditional like marketing and like they could just very easily be like, learn a new language. Like here's those pros, but instead they're

(29m 4s): Get that Rosetta stone tone. Yeah. But yeah, I mean I think you can kind of turn that negative into a positive a with humor obviously, which they have done. But if we're gonna do kind of like a AP English retrospective of it, you're also kind of showing that like, hey, if you really wanna learn a language, we're gonna push you to stick with it. And you know, like there's, there's like a regimen to this because we want you to learn, right? And we, we care about you

(29m 35s): So

(29m 36s): Stand outside of your car with a knife until you finish your, finish your lessons. But again, that that humor is what people get attached to and they're like, actually yeah, you're right. Maybe I do need a little shaming for not finishing my courses.

(29m 51s): It feels to me a little bit like if you were on the playground as a kid and someone made fun of you, if you found a way to like, almost like judo that that insult into a compliment that would immediately, if it was a bully or something, they, they would just immediately collapse cuz there's nothing they can do. Whereas if you resist and you're like, No, I'm not that, and then you're like, Oh, that's soft spot, soft spot. And they would just like, yeah, they would just drive it home.

(30m 19s): Yeah. And if we have learned anything it's that people on social media are huge bullies.

(30m 24s): Yeah. I was trying to avoid being direct here, but yeah, a lot of, a lot of people who leave feedback do it in the most bullying way. Also though, what I love is that approach by Doo lingo may actually be really crafty in that it's, it's sort of doing this anchoring effect where like, I don't, the idea of anchoring is if you, if you show a high price all the prices that come after that, for example, even if they're relatively higher than the average because you've shown like a first number that's really high, people are now anchoring to that number that they've seen. Even though it's humor and even though it's, it's tongue in cheek, but when you have the image of duo with a knife going around, you know, like actually menacing, then the what, what appears in your inbox seems far less threatening and it's also in this kind of humorous light.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what I mean? And so I don't know it, it's kind of, I think it's both playing with the negative and making it a positive and then also recontextualizing in the same way that, I don't know if you had a chatty friend that you were like kind of annoyed by how chatty they were, I might be that friend then you know them, you know, kind of going off on how chatty they're and exaggerating the point in a way you realize, oh, they're self-aware, they're not just kind of mindlessly chatty and, and in a way they don't have to even change how chatty they are.

You might just accept them a little bit more because they're at least aware of it. I don't know, maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. I'm identifying as the chatty person in the, in the room right now.

(31m 56s): No, I think it, I mean it's also me for sure. Cause there are times where I'll just, I'll just be saying something and then realize that I've been talking too long and then you have to have that internal conversation of like, okay, people are tuning out, I need to do something before this gets any worse. How do I wrap this up? Or how do I just change the mood?

(32m 19s): There is nothing worse than having that realization where you're like, oh my God, I have been like leading this whole conversation for like an hour. Oops.

(32m 28s): Well this isn't a specific example, but it's sort of a general thought of this in the wild. For me, the fanciest I've ever flown is we flew to France whenever I was in college and yeah, I mean just getting handed a a little thing of brie on a plane, I mean it's a small thing, but some fancy cheese that's an upgrade for me. And whether it's cheese or whether it's just like having the, the crew on the plane or the, the design of the plane, like those aren't very costly engineering upgrades to the plane.

Like the plane doesn't have to be touched almost at all to transform the experience of flying. And that's kind of how it ties back to the not super rational necessarily, but if you just make it more entertaining, more comfortable and, and focus on the experience, a lot of times you can find a maybe not so expensive way to transform your product, your service, your brand.

(33m 29s): I mean, I guess to bring it to maybe a more everyday experience, you don't necessarily have to be at a very expensive eatery, but if they hand you a hot towel, you're like, oh, we're doing a thing. Like this is an experience I've been thought of and they care about my, my wellbeing and also I'm either preparing or cleaning up from something that they've provided me. So I guess really it's kind of like trying to find what that is.

Like what is your hot towel for your advertising?

(34m 4s): There used to be a yoga studio here that gave a cold lavender towel. They would put it over your eyes during Shavasana at the end of every class. Oh my

(34m 14s): God, that's so smart. Yeah,

(34m 15s): And it was, they did hard classes

(34m 17s): Too. Yeah. But it was that small thing that I'm like, I love this. This is something that will keep me coming back. And it is something that they, they mention in their like Instagram posts every now and then, they're like, come for the yoga, stay for the lavender Ital. And I'm like, they know.

(34m 34s): Yes, they

(34m 35s): Know. You know what that makes me think of as in a very similar way, I was talking to my dad about barbers of all things and he was talking about how he found a barber near him that still does like the hot towel thing and that's incre. Like I have a really great barbershop that I go to that doesn't do that whole thing at the end. And I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm going to get a haircut. So it's not on paper the most important thing. But also if you've ever had, like, if you ever had that experience sitting at a barber where they do the hot shaving cream and the shave around the neckline and the towel, it's sort of like that lavender cold towel on your face.

It's extra, but also it keeps you coming back to that place because they did a little extra thing that wasn't very costly to them except for in the sense that it was hospitable and it was something extra and it felt, you felt cared for. And it's interesting though that we don't always think about as a brand or as an advertiser, are we really making people feel that way? Not just with, obviously with an ad it's hard, hard to do that sometimes you probably could, but like with your overall strategy as a brand I think is where it could really come in.

But yeah, I, I don't do yoga so I don't quite relate to that exactly. But I can feel, I can still feel the, the relief of that cold tell,

(35m 53s): I mean that's okay because I don't, you

(35m 55s): Don't go to the barber's house. Yeah. Okay. So maybe to wrap this conversation has been really good and I know that I feel like we have a lot to talk about and I, I wanna wrap this up with some takeaways for brands. So I'm curious if you guys had to sum up, you know, one takeaway for a brand who was thinking about how could we use this perspective in our advertising, what's something that you would, you would say?

(36m 23s): Probably something about trying to find ways to surprise your audience about something that isn't actually surprising. If we take the dual lingo example, right? I think the reason why we were all so entertained by what they're doing on TikTok is because, well of course that is, it's a direction that makes sense because it's something that we all are aware of, but it makes sense for them to play it off the way that they did. So finding that that level of humor or that level of authenticity that might surprise people in the fact that you did it at all.

Because if you think of the context of the market and other advertising, it's surprising that you did something different, but it always has to make sense for your brand. So it's kind of like an aha moment that is followed by Of course, of course that's what you did and I'm on board.

(37m 20s): I think kind of to piggyback off of that a little bit is you don't always have to buy the Super Bowl ad like I mentioned earlier, with Liquid Death, they paid to send, you know, practicing witches to the Super Bowl and that was kind of their push. I, I was also thinking afterwards, I didn't mention this one earlier, there was a horror movie that came out recently called Smile. And they put a lot of their marketing into sending actors out to baseball games and to stand behind the host of Good Morning America, you know how you can see like out the window and they had the, the creepy smile that was part of the movie.

Like they just stood there and just stared directly into the camera with the smile. And it was part of, you know, the whole getting people out to see that movie. So you don't have to buy the Super Bowl ad. You can take different approaches to kind of be in the same area, be in the same ballpark while still, you know, getting your message across.

(38m 23s): Well hopefully we've encouraged brands to, to embrace at least a little bit of nonsense. Hopefully we've convinced at least someone listening that ironically nonsense could be the smart move sometimes. Ari, thanks so much for joining and yeah, it was great talking with with all of y'all.

(38m 43s): Thanks for having me.

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