2 mins

Real Marketing


Let's start with this image.

Same title. Same painting. Same subreddit. One gets 300 votes. The other gets 70,000.

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People love REAL stuff. But it's rare.

Lifeless marketing is everywhere and we copy it without thinking.

So I thought I'd share some examples of REAL stuff.

1) Taleb's social proof

Publishers say bestsellers need endorsements from fancy media.

Nassim Taleb disagreed. For his latest book he replaced praise from Economist et al. with words from real readers.

Readers connect with readers in a way The Economist can't.

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2) Patagonia's images

In the 1980s all outdoor fashion catalogs looked the same.

Paid models. Fake hikes.

Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, was sick of it. So he placed a note in their catalog asking customers to send in real photos.

Suddenly Patagonia stood out. They still only use real customers today.

A real surfer showing a little skin is a lot sexier than a half-dressed, anonymous model — Yvon Chouinard

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3) Rihanna's copy

Most product launches feel like a copy and paste job.

Look what happens when Rihanna drops the clichés and talks like a real person.

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4) People's Vote Ads

The People's Vote Campaign spent more than £800k in the lead up to the 2019 UK election. Fancy cameras, expensive lighting, etc...

Their best performing ad? Staff talking to an iPhone on their way to work.

5) Chanel's drawings

Real means human.

For Mother's Day this year Chanel asked employees' kids to draw products.

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6) Beachbody's ads

Contrast these two ads from Beachbody's CEO.

The first is your classic clean-cut ad. The second feels like a fitness vlog. Dropping sweat. Off-the-cuff.

Much more authentic.

To wrap up

I'll leave you with my real marketing manifesto:

Real people. Real words. Real customers. Anything else goes.

I spent yesterday applying it to my email popup.

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— Thanks for reading, Harry

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