Who Else Has Figured this Out?
One of my favorite Evolved Enterprises, Patagonia, has been a stalwart example of ATV. Here’s an ad they ran on Cyber Monday in 2011 that blatantly stated, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” This ran totally counter to anything traditional marketing would tell you.
I love this bit of the ad:
“Because Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time—and leave a world inhabitable for our kids—we want to do the opposite of every other business today. We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else.”
This contributed to sales being up 40% for a two-year period following this ad. I doubt it’s just attributed to this campaign, but I think it’s a long-term mindset about the purpose of business.
And one story Yanik reminded me of is one of most little-known copywriters who really got this...
John E. Powers, a copywriter from the 1900s, wrote this ad for a Pittsburgh department store in severe financial trouble:
“We are bankrupt. We owe $125,000 more than we can pay, and this announcement will bring our creditors down on our necks. But if you come and buy tomorrow, we shall have the money to meet them. If not, we shall go to the wall.”
And this ad was said to be responsible for saving the store.
Another ad written by Powers, for a different merchant, proclaimed, “We have a lot of rotten raincoats we want to get rid of.” This sold out the entire inventory of raincoats by the next morning.
Talk about vulnerability, transparency and authenticity...he had it in spades...and it worked big time.