Sunday, October 09, 2011

What You Don't See is What You Want to See

Sitting back at a favorite restaurant of mine, was wondering what appetizers do. Do they stimulate your appetite or do they create a setting for better food to come?

Actually they do both. And funnily enough they are related. The appetizers set the tone, the tone for better food and the main course which we would expect to be even better than the appetizers.

I am sure we would have all heard ' you can't imagine' how good it was'. This will get us thinking as to how good it was!

Imagine a extremely attractive girl (and I'm talking from a male's point of view). There are two scenarios, in one she was fully clothed and in one she was at her sexy best - mini skirt, an appropriate cleavage and a generous amount of skin show. There are no guesses for what will grab your attention - skin!

(Since I am not sexist) This is pretty much like a strip tease by men. The women are teased and teased and teased for the expected end result. The very act is exciting for many. Just like some foreplay before sex!!!!!

Why is it so exciting? Humans by nature are inquisitive and curious. Inquisitiveness results in humans wanting to know more about what they have not seen or heard. Exactly why gossip is so exciting for many.

Pretty much like our canine & feline friends, we humans are thrilled by the  chase. Whatever comes easy is not as exciting. If we were to put a naked man/ woman next to a person who is undressing slowly I am pretty sure the latter will get the votes for excitement!

There are similar parallels to marketing especially communications. The more we tease the customer the more mileage we will get because humans by their innate sense of curiosity will try to want to know more. Case in point - Look at product launches like Iphone, Galaxy or Kindle Fire. All these launches were  shrouded in secrecy resulting in tantalizing amounts of speculation, rumors and grist. The hype creates more curiosity and..........

Pretty much like a teaser ad. Teasers can create excitement. If the question is why don't many brands use this? I think it is primarily out of commercial considerations. However many brands use Public Relation activities to drive this curiosity. And if properly done this can create a lot of buzz. Look at how Apple milks PR to provide fodder to the rumour mills! I m pretty sure that Apple by themselves will providing selective news bites which tickles the appetite of the public.

The motion picture industry has done a very good job of this. Just before a release, there is a blatant disregard of anything sensible; and consideration for everything sensational. There will be the traditional hero heroine link up, the spats between the stars, how the stars got injured and many other 'newsworthy' items.

Actually communication by itself is pretty much a teaser to the real thing. All advertising creates excitement towards the product/ service with the hope that customers will try them.( However, how advertising should be - is a topic for another time).

So for a marketer, the more curiosity you create, the more buzz, the more buzz the more curiosity, so on and so more!

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