Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Did I just see what I just saw?

Despite my advanced age, or perhaps because of it, I often get lumped in with an elite group of copywriting legends who made their mark in traditional advertising and now -- it can be argued -- own the social media domain.

Of course, I'm talking about George Tannenbaum, who has been writing the since Methusalah sent his last bowl of cold soup back to the kitchen. And Bob Hoffman, who is roaming the earth, pimping his latest book, and printing money on his highly lucrative speaking tours.

Together, the three of us (and I'd add my good friend Jeff Gelberg, whose blog rotation and balance is highly underrated) have more advertising experience than all of Omnicom and WPP (of wire and plastics fame) combined.

We've also clocked more readers, hits and views on our unpaid blogs than any ad agency on earth. I know I shouldn't make unverifiable claims, but we live in the age of Grandpa Ramblemouth. If you don't like it, sue me.

Suffice to say, that while none of us have ever made a Dik Dok video or plied our wares on Instagram or even checked in with Foursquare, we know a thing or two about attracting a social media audience. Admittedly, this blog is way, way behind George's outrageously popular and razor sharp platform.

Nevertheless, I like to think that what makes us, us, is also what makes people seek out our daily musings. We don't hold back. We are unabashedly and unapologetically, brutally honest. We pull no punches. We tolerate no fools (I think Mark Read would agree with that) and we are surprisingly agile/nimble/adaptable for our age.

You may have a hard time teaching an old dog new tricks, but you put that old copywriting dog in front of a keyboard, feed him, or her, a steady diet of industry dysfunction, and then provide a client-free, editorially-free platform for the venting of gripes and the open mockery of a once great business, well, you know the rest.

Recently, in my latest gig, which spans the entire media landscape, I learned a new term -- thumbstopping.

I made this discovery completely by accident. To wit, I noticed a tiny mistake on one of our online videos. It was quickly pointed out to me that the "mistake" was intentional. It's a "thumbstopper", designed to catch the viewer's casual attention and make the viewer rewind the video to confirm his or her observation.

Holy Shit, I thought. That's genius.

It's unpaid media, earned by leveraging simple human behavior. Skinner would be proud.

It's also a convenient excuse I can serve up when my wife reads my blog and spots typos or grammatical errors.

"Those aren't mistakes Deb. Those are all intentional. They're thumbstoppers."

1 comment:

george tannenbaum said...

My response when someone points out one of my many typos.

"I've read the when the Navajo weaved a blanket, they always weave in a tiny flaw.
Because only god, and Mark Read, are perfect."