What Happened To Aspiration?
And the one thing every client wanted, no matter what the product, was to make people want what they were selling. And how do you make that happen? By creating aspiration. Make it sexy, make it cool, make it juicy and gorgeous and delectable and irresistible ... that has always been my job.
Since I opened five0, I've noticed something.
If you look at advertising for people from, say, 5 years old to 50 years old, it all tries to do what I spoke about above. It tries to get the viewer or reader to "aspire" to the product or brand. Some do it well, others not so well, but the mission is always the same.
But take a look at advertising for people over 50 and a funny thing happens. It stops being about aspiration and starts being about what I call "need state." You may not want the product, but you definitely need it.
Your back hurts, so you can't bend over to pick up your grandchildren.
You can't read the paper because your eyes are shot.
You can't have sex anymore.
You didn't plan well, so you can't retire.
You can't get the lid off the jar.
You've fallen and you can't get up.
Marketing and advertising for the 50+ target is the land of "can't."
What happened to "can"? What happened to creating aspiration? What happened to making a product cool or fun or sexy? Why do marketers think that just because I turned 50 I don't aspire to anything anymore?
The fact is, I have more aspiration than ever before. Different aspirations, yes. But aspiration is aspiration, no matter what it's for. And it's positive, it's something I'm looking forward to, it's something I can and will do because I want to.
There are already too many things in life that I need to do or have to do. I have to pay my taxes. I need to mow the lawn. I have to go to work on Monday.
Now, I know what you're about to say. How on earth can you make something like medication for men who have to urinate constantly cool?
Well, the first thing you can do is make sure the creative people who work on the product are actually over 50 and actually somewhat creative. Otherwise, you end up with commercials like the one I'm constantly seeing for a drug called Flomax. You've probably seen it too.
A group of guys in their 40's and 50's playing golf, but instead of the commentator talking about their shot-making, he is instead discussing their bathroom habits. Apparently, these men can't play a round of golf without stopping to pee every five minutes.
Now, I understand that this is a real problem and that lots of men suffer from this condition. But I have to ask, where is the aspiration? Where is the message that makes me want to buy the product? Do I want to be those guys? Not for a second, even if they only had to pee once a month. Does anyone want to be them? I doubt it, even if you do play golf. There's nothing cool about them. Nothing to aspire to.
Instead, try this:
OPEN ON THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS. IT'S NIGHT. THE LIGHTS OF THE RACE CARS ARE PIERCING THE DARKNESS, THEY SCREAM BY THE PITS AT 200 MPH. THE PITS ARE A FRENZY OF TIRE CHANGING AND FUELING, CARS BLAST IN, TIRED DRIVERS ARE UNBUCKLED AND HELPED OUT OF TINY COCKPITS AS THE NEXT DRIVER WAITS IMPATIENTLY TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL AND BLAST BACK OUT INTO THE NIGHT. ENGINES REV, WRENCHES SPIN, CREW CHIEFS YELL INSTRUCTIONS OVER THE DIN. CUT TO A GUY WHO LOOKS LIKE PAUL NEWMAN IN A RACING SUIT, HE'S 60+, STRIKING SILVER HAIR AND A TAN FACE THAT SAYS HE'S BEEN AROUND AND DONE A LOT. AS HE PULLS HIS BALACLAVA ON AND STARTS TO DON HIS HELMET, HE LOOKS RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA AND SAYS...
PAUL: I'm going to be in that car for four hours at an average of 184 miles per hour. Believe me, I'm not gonna stop to pee.
HE SLIPS INTO THE CAR AND THE CREW BUCKLES HIM IN, THE GULL WING DOOR IS CLOSED AND LATCHED. THROUGH THE PLEXIGLASS WINDOW WE SEE A RACING GLOVE GIVE THUMBS UP. THE ENGINE SCREAMS AND THE CAR JETS DOWN THE PIT LANE. THE CAMERA RISES AS WE WATCH THE CAR WAIL INTO THE NIGHT.
SUPER: Flomax. For men who'll never stop.