Because strategy beats copy.

I mean, the best copy in the world can’t fix a broken strategy.

Peter Drucker put it this way: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

It’s like pants.  If you start to put them on wrong, well, there’s nothing to do but take them off and start all over.

In business, a blind spot can cost you an industry.

The Merriam-Worden Collegial Dictionary defines “blind spot” as —

  1. A small, circular area of the mind which is completely shut to new ideas.
  2. An idea within your range of understanding that you are unable to see, due to strongly-held beliefs, lack of knowledge, or “We’ve always done it this way.”

Good news — blind spots are curable.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. Peter Drucker

No references to the advertiser’s name until WAY into the ad. But it holds your attention.

If your ad is entertaining or surprising people will give you their time. Here, the pig is completely surprising and Shaggy’s music is perfectly edited. The video features two Outsiders who have made it — and are planning retirement. A side view of the Chase logo shows up :22 and the good female VO names Chase three seconds before the spot ends.

Boombastic indeed.


“Surprise is the foundation of delight.”

Without a surprising word or idea, there would be no delight. Ask any comedian — the magic happens when the thing that doesn’t belong fits perfectly. Mitch Hedberg proves my point —

Mitch Hedberg — 30 seconds — Outdoor Fishing Show

For your ad to be heard (or seen) you must offer a thought more compelling than the one presently in the mind of your customer. If it is boring or predictable, she dismisses it — no further thought is required. That’s how we are wired.

Surprise gets past Broca’s area of the brain. Broca’s area predicts the intended outcome and purpose of sounds and words.

It provides meaning to abstract ideas.

It associates words with complex concepts.

As soon as the thought is recognized, the meaning is understood. But if there is a new thought — Ah! Now you have the mind of your customer.

The words are held up…examined…considered… If you have chosen your words well, they paint a picture in the mind of your listener. They see the thing of which you speak.

Even if this thing has never existed or CANNOT EXIST, they will see — even feel — that image in their minds.

The rose is a rose, And was always a rose. But the theory now goes, That the apple’s a rose, And the pear is, and so’s The plum, I suppose. The dear only knows, What will next prove a rose. You, of course, are a rose – But were always a rose.

Latent abilities are like clay. It can be mud on shoes, brick in a building, or a statue to inspire all who see it. The clay is the same. The result is dependent on how it is used. James F. Lincoln

Squeezed out of a billion dollars of ad spend, Roy H. Williams, Chancellor of Wizard Academy and guiding light of the Wizard of Ads Partners, observes seven universal laws.  Let’s listen in.

  1. An Energy of Words has existed since the day He said, “Let there be light.”  Learn how to use this energy.  You are created in His image.
  2. Masses of People are predictable, though an individual person is not.  The exception does not disprove the rule.
  3. Intellect and Emotion are partners who do not speak the same language.  The intellect finds logic to justify what the emotions have decided.  Win the hearts of the people, their minds will follow.
  4. Time and Money are two sides of a single coin.  No person gives you his money until he has first given you his time.  Win the time of the people, their money will follow.
  5. Sight and Sound function differently in the mind, with sound being the surer investment.  Win the ears of the people, their eyes will follow.
  6. Opportunity and Security are inversely proportionate.  As one increases, the other must decrease.  High returns are gained from low-risk strategies only through the passage of time.  He who will cheat time must embrace the risk of failure.
  7. Engage the Imagination, then take it where you will.  Where the mind has repeatedly journeyed, the body will surely follow.  People go only to places they have already been in their minds.

As is normal for Roy, these are not rules or templates.  They are guideposts, intended to show you the way, not the destination.

The destination is for you and your Wizard of Ads partner to determine.  Some thought is required but that’s OK.  We’ll be fine.

(The except above is from the #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling business book, the Wizard of Ads.  Number One bestseller, no joke.  Roy wrote it.  And two other #1 best-sellers.  He’s someone we should listen to.)

We believe.

The video above is a collage of Wizard of Ads partners.  We collaborated in writing what We Believe.  In 56 seconds you can know the answer.  That’s me at :28.

Wizard of Ads partner Mick Torbay wrote and delivered the definitive riff on what it means to be a leader. Pulling images, video, and concepts from high-tech to after shave, Mick illuminates the reasons behind the successful visionary.  Embedded in video are several Wizard concepts.  Pay attention, this material will be on the quiz.

Did you work hard to “build up your business” and now you’re taking it easy a little, enjoying the fruits of your labor? Congratulations. That warm glow you’re feeling means you’re about to be toast. If you’re not acutely aware of your competitive environment, you’re coasting, losing momentum and in danger of being overtaken. You became a self-made man or woman because you took big chances when you had little to lose, right? But now that life is good, you abandoned this aggressive behavior and expect good things to happen because “you earned it.” Remember the tired old elephant whose butt you kicked to get where you are today? The new elephant is you.

Where is Your Blind Spot?

What happened was The Internet.  One day, systems of websites, online services, and mobile devices took over my world.

I was the Chief Technology Officer.  Everyone turned to me and said, “Build us a website.”

“Sure,” I replied.  “What kind?”

“Fast.  And it needs to rank well,” they said.  So I did.

Problem was, the website had no compelling, relevant message.