What I learnt watching Sesame Street



One of the great positives of having kids is getting to watch their TV shows. And who doesn’t love Sesame Street…

It’s amazing what you can learn! Take the street walker selling insidious numbers and letters.

Who on earth would want to buy a number? What on earth would that be good for? Well, our pal Jim Henson shows us that if you establish a clear need you can sell anything!

In advertising we should be able to sell anything too, if we establish needs and can clearly set out:
• Who should buy it
• Why should they buy it
• What should they buy it instead of

So with this in mind, why are “briefs” often so long? A 72 page brief was triumphantly delivered to Channelzero last week. Distilling the core message and prioritising information is a hard task, so this is understandable. Our job as an agency is to ensure that we have answers to the difficult questions before we begin with a solution. A problem well stated is a problem halved, so we must know:

- Are we growing our client's brand share in the market or are we growing the market as a whole? If we are a clear market leader we should push for a category job… Grow the market size and we grow our client proportionally. Score!

- Are we recruiting new customers or aiming for greater volume from our existing client base? Trying to do both effectively is a poisoned chalice.

- Are we selling emotionally or rationally? If our client’s product/ service has a clear and demonstrative product benefit, sometimes a lucid statement of facts beautifully presented is the shortest path to a sale. However, as a general rule of thumb if the product is something that is enjoyed then we need to tweak the emotional buying brain with rich imagery and sentiment.

Socrates (a wise old chap) said “All knowledge starts with listening.” So listen to your clients and establish answers to these questions and avoid any subjectivity with creative solution

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