Final Thoughts on Mailbox Persuasion series

In this last video, I take all the information from the previous videos and identify the big-picture takeaway.

Here are a few questions I answer:

  • “What brand message was Harvard Business Review trying to convey?”
  • “How did they do it?”
  • “How can I improve my persuasion and copywriting skills?”

Here’s a few resources if you’re interested in learning more about persuasion and writing copy:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

Scientific Advertising (pdf download)

Has anything in your mailbox jumped out at you lately? Or is this direct-mail campaign an anomaly?



Why They Should Dump “The Verizon Guy”

Do a Google search for “The Verizon Guy” and this is what you’ll find:

  • Gossip from 2005 that he is dead (he’s not)
  • USA Today article from 2004
  • Unverified article from 2003 that he has a brain tumor
  • Marijuana worshiper griping about a Verizon cable technician “ratting on him”

That’s just the first page…

If people are talking negatively about your brand you may or may not have a problem. But if people aren’t talking about your brand at all, you definitely have a problem.

How It Started

Somewhere around 2002 Verizon started their “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign. The ads featured Verizon Guy Paul Marcarelli, who was one of 50 people hired to drive 100,000 miles a year, testing the reliability of Verizon’s network. The campaign took off and helped Verizon gain double-digit market share and reduced customer turnover.

Why were those ads so effective? Was it the Verizon Guy character? Or the jokes? Nope.

The campaign took off because…