“This is the basis of a great deal of consumer advertising: you buy the shoes you see Carrie Bradshaw wearing in ‘Sex and the City’ because you want to be like Carrie. You want James Bond’s car because you want to be like James Bond. You accept the product as the transfer of the attributes you envy or admire in that person to you.
Bond is smart, suave, cool, fearless, heroic and has beautiful women swooning at his feet and he drives an Aston-Martin or, more recently, a super BMW; if I drive that, it will make me smart, suave, cool, fearless, heroic and have beautiful women swooning at my feet. When I spell it out that way, it sounds kinda dumb, but your mind doesn’t analytically, consciously break it down that way. It’s more a transference of feeling than 1+2=3 process.
In copy, we do have to spell it out and enunciate it and have to be careful not to make it sound foolish as I just did with Bond. But the I-WANT-TO-BE-LIKE-JOE (SO, TO GET THERE, I WILL WEAR THE SHOES JOE WEARS) is a very, very powerful force. Setting aside the scandal, think about Nike and Tiger Woods. Clearly, wearing the same polo shirt and cap with the Nike logo that Tiger wears won’t fix your backswing. Yet Nike correctly knows that grown men, titans of industry, doctors, lawyers, etc. will buy and wear those shirts because Tiger does.
Foster Grant has recently re-introduced Raquel Welch as a spokesmodel for its sunglasses and its “readers.” Women wish they could look that good and still be hot at her age, and admire her fearlessness about her age, so they’ll buy those glasses to transfer those attributes to themselves.”
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