How a sudden change can give the recipient quite a fright

I remember when I was at school I learned a poem about a sculptor who made a statue of a girl, and what should happen but that one day the whole thing suddenly came to life.

A pretty nasty shock for the chap, of course, but the point I'm working round to is that there were a couple of lines that went, if I remember correctly: “She starts. She moves. She seems to feel the stir of life”.*

And something similar happened to me last night at the Toppled Bollard. 

This lady was sitting utterly motionless next to me, and then very quietly asked me to dance.  I said yes, of course, and suddenly on the dance floor she was electric, alive, and full of vitality.  Great fun, but the sudden transformation gave me quite a shock.

And it reminded me of the profound advice I have often felt the need to hand out to advertisers, which is that while one should change one’s adverts all the time - ideally never sending out the same advert twice - one should only change one’s entire approach rarely, and even then, with a degree of caution.

One can, of course, have two series of advertisements running - has the “how to get better response rates and these are the services we have” adverts and the “Toppled Bollard” pieces like this one.  But they are differentiated by the logo and there are only two types of advertisements, so most readers get the hang of them quite quickly.

But when the style and approach rampages from one vision to another and then another, the reader can get confused and simply switch off.

“Only spring to life in a new form once,” is my motto, and even then think about it twice.  The aim should be to offer through the adverts a personality, a style, an approach, and a vision.  Indeed as I once heard myself described at a conference, “He’s a complete nutter of course, but with advertising he knows what he’s talking about.”

Not exactly what I want as an epitaph, but as a summary I can live with that.