Bluff With Fluff - Easy Effective Advertising

I write a lot about finding that one thing that makes your business stand out from your competition. It's the most important thing you can possibly do to make a difference in your advertising (not to mention your business as a whole.) But, some managers can be reluctant to make real changes to their business to make this strategy work. Sometimes they just can’t find that one interesting nugget that’ll bring them brand awareness. Well, just because you’re having trouble defining your business down to one cool principle, doesn’t mean we can’t build a brand around one thing. Don’t get me wrong, the example I’ll discuss today is an alternative to finding a unique selling proposition, but I wouldn’t describe it as “better.” With that said, let’s talk about how to “bluff with fluff.”

“Bluffing with fluff” is a nice way of saying “let’s fill your commercial up with funny or interesting material that doesn’t really have a lot to do with your business.” But, it can build your brand and bring name recognition for your business. A good example of bluffing with fluff would be almost every beer/alcohol commercial. They “bluff with fluff” for a different reason though. They do it because they can’t legally say much about their products. They can’t legally entice customers to drink alcohol, so often they just make funny or cool commercials based on lifestyle. As long as the brand is attached to the fun commercial it should work just fine. Think about almost any Budweiser commercial. Clydesdales farting on people during a sleigh ride doesn’t really lend any information about beer. It is memorable though. It stands out. Seeing that I can remember that it was for Budweiser would prove that you can artfully attach a brand successfully to “fluff,” or even to “flatulent horses.”

Here's the Bud Light Sleigh Ride ad if you haven't seen it.

So, ideas? Where can you find your own flatulent horse? Well, I imagine that wouldn’t be most businesses first choice (even though it stands out.) For the average business, you can pretty much go down any road, as long as it can relate closely to your product. Try not to stray too far from what you’re really about. Beer companies have a lot of cash, so they can afford to chase down multiple avenues of comedy & intrigue. The frequency they can afford will bridge their campaigns together. If you don’t have big beer money, you need to keep things closer to your vest. Stick with one cool angle and play it out for as long as you can. In general, this means if your shtick is “flatulent horses,” there better be horses flatulizing in every spot you do. It’ll help bring brand recognition with every blast. Don’t worry, I will toss out one more example that doesn’t involve equine gas soon.

Here’s one that anybody can use anytime, for pretty much any business. You can be the place that does “Haikus” in your advertising. It doesn’t particularly say anything solid about your business, but sometimes advertising just works by continually mentioning your business in the same way. It must be interesting though. Here’s an example of how to use this “Haiku” technique.

There definitely isn’t any USP (unique selling proposition) in that ad. ABC Plumbing doesn’t offer any service that any other plumbing service couldn’t perform. But, by airing these ads with a good amount of frequency they will advance their brand and gain recognition. This is good for a smaller company that can’t afford a huge rotation, so it’s imperative that they stick with this formula for as long as possible (if not indefinitely.) A good writer can write a lot of scripts based on a simple idea like this. Every time one of these commercials runs the brand gets more & more firmly imprinted on the listeners mind. After years and years of hearing these ads, ABC Plumbing will earn something special with their prospective clientele. They’ll be on the list of places a person thinks of first when they have an issue. The funny thing about getting on a persons mental list is that it doesn’t matter whether they like your ad or not. A lot of people will probably hate your “haiku” ads, but when they have 3 inches of water backed up in the basement, you’ll be the one they remember to call. Yay!

There are an infinite number of ways you can bluff with fluff. Just remember a couple things from this post to use it correctly though.

  • If you don’t have an enormous budget, don’t veer to far from your product.
  • Entertain, but make sure to link the fun to what you offer.
  • Hammer it home forever.

If you have any trouble thinking of something fun to bluff with, head over to the contact page and hit me up for a creative session, I’d be happy to help!