The little faith I have in humanity is somewhat restored.
Via Paul Haddad.
David Bowie’s mugshot from 37 years ago today, arrested for marijuana in Rochester, NY March 25, 1976
People have attention spans of donuts...
So, if you're selling, KISS (keep it super simple).
Art Jonak: I help entrepreneurs & businesses make it and then keep it simple... and Simple Sells. ☼
Here’s a note from 17-year old Nick D’Aloisio on his website on March 25, 2013:
Yahoo! agrees to acquire Summly
In true Summly fashion, I will keep this short and sweet.
I am delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo!. Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo!’s global scale and expertise. After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo! has an inspirational goal to make people’s daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision. For us, it’s the perfect fit.
When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly. I’d personally like to thank Li Ka-Shing and Horizons Ventures for having the foresight to back a teenager pursuing his dream. Also to our investors, advisors and of course the fantastic team for believing in the potential of Summly. Without you all, this never would have been possible. I’d also like to thank my family, friends and school for supporting me.
Most importantly, thank you to our wonderful users who have helped contribute to us receiving Apple’s Best Apps of 2012 award for Intuitive Touch! We will be removing Summly from the App Store today but expect our summarization technology will soon return to multiple Yahoo! products - see this as a ‘power nap’ so to speak.
With over 90 million summaries read in just a few short months, this is just the beginning for our technology. As we move towards a more refined, liberated and intelligent mobile web, summaries will continue to help navigate through our ever expanding information universe.
Nick saw a problem. Fewer and fewer people wanted to read long news articles. They wanted to get the summary, fast… and move on. He pin-pointed a frustration… and entrepreneurs are born out of frustration.
You see, Nick created an app that makes the news… SIMPLE. Then he delivered this app in a SIMPLE way. People love simple. How many people…?
How well did it work? He Crushed it. He got a deal from Yahoo for, ready for this, $30 MILLION.
What you get:
You get full control:
Even sharing… make SIMPLE:
Nick gets Simple.
And now he’s all over then news…
Whenever possible, keep the solutions to problems simple.
If you’re a man… then you’ve experienced it. You know, that awkward feeling of using a urinal knowing you’re stepping in… well, the results of those who don’t know how to aim so well… or have been drinking a tad too much… or the ‘shake it off all over the place’ types. Yes, it’s disgustingly gross.
Oh, and it’s even worse for the people whose job it is to clean the urinals.
Here’s one attempt at an innovative solution:
Seems simple, but not simple enough. And besides, I’ve known places where some fellas might even start using the one on the ground instead of the urinal… making for a bigger problem.
SIMPLE: The “fly sticker” in the urinal.
Most men like games, especially if there’s a “challenge.” So, they aim for the fly. They can’t help themselves. It simple… and it works, as long as you’re sober that is.
Whenever possible, keep the solutions to problems simple.
In an attempt to get a job in, or a brazen attempt at self promotion, Adam Pacitti has built himself a website and taken out an ad which has gone viral.
Adam Pacitti’s tweet about spending his last £500 on a billboard in London has been re-tweeted over 12,300 times… in less than 24 hours.
Adam’s rather sweetly self-deprecating video has already been viewed over 8,000 times on YouTube… in less than 24 hours.
Adam’s story has already been picked up by the news… in less than 24 hours.
THE MESSAGE: It’s simple: EMPLOY ADAM
THE BILLBOARD: Simple… on many levels.
Clean: Very little clutter. Simply a picture of Adam, a headline and a call to action.
Easy to read: Dark background and lettering in the two colors that are the easiest to read: white and yellow (think road signs).
Clear call to action: “Please Give Me A Job.” Followed by his website.
Tells A Story: One of the most effective ways to sell, is to share a story. His story is simple: “I spent my last £500 on this billboard. Please give me a job.” Simple stories often sell best.
Includes His Photo: By adding his photo, it makes the ad real. Note that he didn’t use a fancy studio photo that made him look like an actor or the ‘perfect employee.’ He used a photo that looks real. Transparency sells. It makes him empathetic and approachable. It also makes him relateable, which makes it easier for others to share his message.
Makes The Website Address Easy To Read: Since Adam used all CAPS, EMPLOYADAM.COM could be difficult to read/understand. The solution, make EMPLOY in white and ADAM in yellow. Problem solved.
THE WEBSITE: Again… simple.
Effectively Simple Website URL: It’s simple, easy to remember and clearly states it’s purpose: EmployAdam.com
Clean layout: Hard to get lost. Friendly intro, “Hi, I’m Adam Pacitti” followed by a short (3 min 51 sec), entertaining, informative and self-deprecating video. Videos are SIMPLE. Click and watch. No reading required. Simple. Effective.
Clear call to action: Please Give Me A Job. With a secondary call to action: “Please Share This Website” and “Follow Me On Twitter.” Again, simple.
Makes it easy and simple for the press: Adam wants the power of the press, the news cycles. And he also realizes that reporters are b-u-s-y people… with deadlines. So he makes it SIMPLE and EASY for them to get the word out about him.
Here’s a screen shot:
“If you are interested in featuring my search for employment in your newspaper, on your television show or on your blog then thank you. If nobody sees this website then it won’t be much of a success, so I really do appreciate it.
Below are a few high-res images which you’re welcome to use wherever you like. Just click on the image you want to use to open the larger version.”
Again, it’s simple. Two paragraphs simple.
He hits on three mediums: NEWSPAPER, TELEVISION and BLOG.
He gives thanks, twice: “…then thank you.” and “I really do appreciate it.”
He makes it easy to get the photos:
Here’s a screen shot of the bottom of his press page:
“Below are a few images of the billboard I booked in London. If you would like to send your own photographer to the billboard, send me an email and I’ll give you the address.”
He provides high-resolutions versions.
He makes them easy to download
He provides FOUR different versions: Three with him in the photos and one that has a more candid news feel. (The Mirror chose to use the one without Adam in the photo).
He offers to provide the exact address of the billboard to any reporter who wants to go take their own photos.
NOTE: I would’ve provided the exact address of the billboard directly on the website, with a Google map. This way anyone, not just the press, could go and get their photos with the billboard. I believe people would do it as novelty… and then post their photos with the billboard on their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc accounts.
The Contact Page. Again, SIMPLE.
Adam does not even use a contact form. He simply posts two emails, one for each of his highest priorities: 1) Potential employers and 2) The Media (more press).
THE VIDEO: Simple.
Short: 3 minutes, 51 seconds. Done.
Story: The video is done in a story format.
Entertaining: The video is not just Adam sitting there, talking for nearly four minutes. He uses props, graphics, cuts to his previous projects and above all, uses self-deprecating humor. Humor sells. Entertainment sells.
Weaves in the facts: Adam cleverly weaves in his resume, in a non-boring way. The video isn’t just entertaining, like a “cat blooper” video, and it actually still fulfills it’s purpose: To showcase Adam.
About: Adam keeps the ‘about’ description simple:
Please visit the Employ Adam website for more information: http://www.employadam.com
This way when anyone shares his video on Facebook, etc, the description tag clearly states the purpose along with his website.
NOTE: I would posted the website with capital E and A, as in: http://EmployAdam.com This would make the website ULR easier to read.
Interaction: Adam is ‘interacting’ with his audience. Notice he is taking the time to reply to some of the comments, giving thanks, showing appreciation, even using humor “It’s knackered.” This makes him real, approachable and “one of us.”
Simple Tweet: To the point. Billboard. Please RT (retweet). Help me find a job. Includes the picture.
billboard is up in london. please retweet this and help me find a job. pic.twitter.com/cG48MECS
Interactive: Again, Adam is being social. He is engaging those who are tweeting about him, he’s posting updates and in return he’s getting many offers from people who are willing to help spread his message.
Consistent: Adam keeps the message consistent. Notice his Twitter headers is the photo of the billboard. That is now his current branding.
i make films and wrestle. i’m also looking for work. email@example.com
He keeps the message at the forefront: “I’m looking for work” followed by a simple call to action, his email address. All the while he still incorporates humor, “i make films and wrestle.” :)
Affordable Billboard: Adam did not have to pay for a high-traffic billboard, which could have cost him multiples of £500. He simply found one that served it’s purpose: To get the photos and start his “online” campaign. He knew that if his idea worked, hundreds-of-thousands of people would see his ‘billboard’ online, which would be hundreds-of-thousands more people than would walk or drive past the actual billboard in person. Again, he kept it simple.
Purple Cow: Adam tapped into several of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow principles, one of which is: Create something remarkable, something people will WANT to talk about.
The purpose of an ad is to create a phone call. This has been a mantra of many great print-media marketers. The purpose of this billboard is to get people to Adam’s website and create some social media play. In this case that includes potential employers, the media and other people (social media).
Where are the benefits? I can see marketers saying: “So the ad is all about him … what would you think if he actually gave a benefit of hiring him to his potential reader?” I would say in this case what benefit Adam offers the employer is for the employer to figure out based on Adam’s body of work (which he showcases on his website along with his resume).
Tap into an existing trend: Of course Adam taps in an existing trend: Unemployment. Specifically youth unemployment. Unemployment is already a big part of the existing news cycle and impacts a large percentage of the population. This makes his message relevant… and thus much more likely for people to want to share it.
With nearly 1 million 18-24 year-olds out of work, and wanting to break into one of the most competitive industries around, perhaps investing in a clever advertising campaign to show of your creativity skills and fortitude isn’t such a crazy idea.
The Telegraph: Youth outlook: “We have no future, says one in five youngsters.”
So, go on, give Adam a job, just don’t ever let him take you out on a Karaoke night. ;)
When selling… and yes, Adam is selling… remember, simple sells. :)
PS: A quick note about haters and linchpins…
HATERS: There will always be haters. So what.
LINCHPINS: Artists and creative people should pursue their passion because it is rare and thus will be worth even more in today’s world. Here’s a brief interview with Seth where he touches on this topic:
YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/JJj_WHCdLtQ
Look at those who have done amazing things in life, a huge majority of them did so by actually living their purpose, their passion, by following their talents and desires. Most were not born into a rich family, they simply had the courage to follow their purpose.
Bottom line: ignore the haters. For the most part they don’t have a clue about today’s economy and the dramatic shifts in employee/employment structures.
If you do get a job, look for an employer who gets the idea of the “Linchpin” - it will be a much more rewarding job with a faster move towards higher pay.
And, consider that ‘getting a JOB’ may not be your only option… especially if you have “linchpin” type qualities :)
Peer Haters: With any bold stroke, you will get your haters. Remember the saying, “Let your haters be your motivators.”
Based on their reply to Adam, here are four people I would not employ. (These are just four of many).
Potential Employer Haters: Keep in mind that many employers live in the stone-age, they live in a ‘system’ that is broken. Those who hate on you are probably not the ones who you want to work for anyway.
Here’s just one example of someone who is probably not looking to employ and reward ‘linchpins’ …
NOT getting a JOB may be your best bet! I have to agree with this tweet — perhaps Adam’s skill sets are not best suited as an employee, but more as an entrepreneur or with an employer who seeks and understands the value of Linchpins.
John Myers is on the money. Smart-thinking, linchpin loving employers would LOVE Adam’s initiative.
Fellow Marketing Haters:
Doing always beats criticizing. Adam’s message is simple, to the point, social and has already proven effective. :)
Focus on the positive! Looks like Adam is easily getting a 3:1 positive vs negative response. It’s easy to let the negative affect you, don’t let it. Focus on the positive. Here are just one of the hundreds of encouraging tweets I’ve seen so far (and this tweet has already been retweeted over 700 times)…
Creating Awareness: Through Adam’s action, he’s touching other people in similar situations. Maybe simply to feel they are not alone, or perhaps to inspire them to do something creative… to become Linchpins. You just never know.
I’ve seen dozens of tweets similar to this one in response to Adam’s “Employ Adam” campaign:
If Money Where NO Object…
And, if you’ve made it this far, you are probably searching for a path, a way ahead. I leave you with this inspiring and thought-provoking video from Adam Watts:
“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.” – Adam Watts
“911. What’s your emergency?”
Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.
When selling… try to sell to your audience at the very peak of their awareness for the need or want of your product.
Here is an example of selling a concept…
Notice they are selling the concept:
1. To the audience (drivers) at the PEAK of their awareness for the message… when they are actually driving.
2. They are using the ‘flying monkey’ concept: a pattern interrupt, something unusual. In this case a billboard with the top totally ripped off! They could’ve made it graphically gruesome, but instead they used a much more visually pleasing approach and got the same, if not better, response.
3. They are using humor. You see this and have to laugh at the creativity. People’s minds become more open to an idea when they smile about it. Great selling.
4. They are doing it simply. Picture of a car. Two sentences. Done.
And when selling, remember, simple sells. :)
Sometimes the simple way to convey a message is with humor. Self-deprecating humor. Self-deprecating humor relies on the observation of something supposedly negative about the person delivering the commentary.
Here’s a great example from the “Dutch Stutter Foundation.”
Not only does the sign use humor, because it looks like three signs, it catches your eye. It’s a “purple cow” ad.
“The essence of the Purple Cow — the reason it would shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows — is that it would be remarkable. Something remarkable is worth talking about, worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible.” - Seth Godin
Above all… the ad is SIMPLE. The humor happens quickly, simply, effectively. And when selling anything, even when selling an idea, simple sells best.