(Update 5/3/17: The book is almost finished. But I need your help to get it off the ground. Please go to my indiegogo campaign and make a donation and I’ll send you a signed copy the day I pick up the books from the printer.)
It is time to write a new book. Something fun. Something helpful. Something about marketing and messages and creativity.
I know exactly what I want to write, but I need your help.
But first, the inspiration behind this book… A couple years ago, during an online discussion, a friend gave me a crazy suggestion for advertising Toy House. His exact words were…
“Hey, Phil, according to this data, your next advertising campaign should use kittens. Or kittens and bacon. Or even better, kittens and bacon and Kim Kardashian, though I fail to see how can THAT be done in a way that’s appropriate for a toy store.”
I immediately came back with…
“Would Kim Kardashian feed her kitten bacon? Would you even care? Would you care what toys she bought? We wouldn’t. Celebrity endorsements do not make toys fun. Play value makes toys fun. Toys that engage your mind and involve you in the creation of play are fun. Celebrity endorsements make things sell faster. They don’t make them better. We’ll focus on the better toys and leave the Kardashian endorsements to the other stores. By the way, Kim’s kitten doesn’t eat bacon – but ours does! Toy House in downtown Jackson. We’re here to make you smile.”
Another friend added…
“Okay: rap music, slow dancing, high fructose corn syrup — go!”
I quickly countered with…
“Would you slow dance to rap music? It’s kinda like high fructose corn syrup. A shortcut that works, but just doesn’t feel right. Unfortunately many toys are made the same way, with shortcuts such as tying into a popular movie or TV show just to get sales. It works, but it doesn’t mean the toy is good for you. We won’t sell high fructose corn syrup type toys. Licensing means nothing if the toy doesn’t also have play value. That’s how we cut the rug. Toy House in downtown Jackson. We’re here to make you smile.”
We decided that if you take a message a business is trying to share, plus three unrelated words, with a little creativity you can craft that into a message that gets attention, is memorable, and still makes your point clearly. The result is often more interesting than the usual boring messages we ignore.
Sometimes, to unlock your inner creativity, you just need a few examples to get you started. This will be your book.
Here is where I need your help.
GET IN THE BOOK
I need at least 100 solid submissions of 150 words or less.
Each submission needs three things in those 150 words:
- A quick description of your business (include contact info, taglines, etc)
- The message you’re trying to share or point you’re trying to make
- Three unrelated words (English and recognizable and suitable for the FCC, please)
Your submission will be on one side of the page. My response will be on the other.
Send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org with the phrase “Creative Message Book” in the subject line. (Don’t forget your contact info)
If you get picked for the book, you will get three things:
- An email back showing you what I created (and a final chance to decide whether you want to be in the book or not)
- Freedom to use the creative I created for you in your own business free from copyright infringement
- A free copy of the book once it is published
Please send in your submissions and share this with your fellow business friends. It’s time to write a new book.
PS I considered a kickstarter campaign for this endeavor to help offset costs and get a little more publicity. For now I’m backing this myself (you know me and freebies). I still might do a kickstarter if I don’t feel this post gets enough worthy submissions. If you submit before I launch a kickstarter, you’ll get all the benefits without paying a penny.
PPS I do not guarantee that the messages I write will be a cure-all for your business or should become the sole basis of your advertising campaign. The goal of this book is simply to give you ideas on how to write more creatively. I will share some of the reasons behind the choices I make to give you pointers for crafting your own message. You may choose to use your message or create something new. Either choice will be fine by me.
PPPS You must have the authority to authorize your company’s info to be included in the book. If you are not that person, make sure you have their approval before you submit.
PPPPS Whew, that is enough disclaimers for now.