North!

While preparing a presentation a few days ago, I came across a quote that was a perfect fit for a book I recently read. Seth Godin’s “All Marketers are Liars” deals with marketers telling stories that consumers want to believe. I passed the quote onto Seth and he was nice enough to mention the Shotgun Marketing BLOG on his blog….

I don’t know why a Arctic explorer was tuned into marketing in the 60s, but he makes a good point…

“What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.” – Vilhjalmur Stefansson, “Discovery”, 1964

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He had a Grrrrreeeat Voice


One of my favorite pieces of useless trivia is the name “Thurl Ravenscroft”.

It’s a unique name.

You’ve probably never heard of him but you’ve heard his voice hundreds of times. He was the voice of Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes. In Christmas trivia, he was the voice who sang the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the original 1966 cartoon version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Boris Karloff did the actual voice of the Grinch) In addition, he did quite a bit of voicework for other Suess productions and some things for Disney as well.

He died this week at the age of 91.

I mention this not only to honor the memory of one of my trivia starters..but also as a lesson about the voice of marketing.

Things have changed since marketers came up with the idea of Tony the Tiger. The voice tone of commercials has become less “the voice of God” that commands authority and almost “tells” you to listen…and has adapted to more of a friendly conversational tone.

This is exemplified in many voiceovers for commercials today…Gene Hackman does Lowes and Oppenheimer Funds, Jeff Bridges does Duracell, Julia Roberts for AOL. These are all conversational voices…not the “Don Pardo” announcer of the past. Slate’s Seth Stevenson has a grrreeeaaatt article that further explains that here.

I spend a few minutes in several of my marketing keynotes and seminars talking about the importance of your ad/pr messages being conversations and not announcements. The mindset of consumers today is not to be told to do something but rather be offered advice that they can take or leave.

Remember that the big voice is not always the one who gets attention.

WikiPedia Article on Thurl Ravenscroft
Story about the Death of Thurl

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