“We’re not saving lives.”
This is an old advertising cliché that’s been tossed around by marketers for decades.
And it’s cliché because there is some truth to it. We in the ad biz are not doctors, firefighters or lifeguards. We’re simply trying to sell our clients’ goods or services to as many consumers as possible.
But then you read a story about a man who was actually dying and how he used Direct Response advertising to help save his own life.
In need of a kidney, this man decided to walk around Disney World (the Happiest Place on Earth, after all) for a week in a T-Shirt with this simple message: “In Need of Kidney. O Positive. Call 917-597-2651.”
That’s it. One of the many people at Disney takes a picture of him, places it on Facebook with a message and it goes viral. Miraculously, someone sees the picture, calls the number and is a perfect match. Life saved. ROI… off-the-charts immeasurable.
Moral of the story? Be an organ donor, of course.
However, it also makes one think about the power of advertising, and of Direct Response advertising in particular. Because with the right message, targeting the right people, using the right reach, sometimes it can truly achieve greatness.
Like turning a cliché on its head.