Want More Impactful Communications? Make Words Collide.

The Foreign Office, London. where Ian Fleming worked during the war and gathered real life experience for the books and movies you've loved -- the James Bond series.
The Foreign Office, London. Here’s where Ian Fleming worked during the war and gathered real life experience for the books and movies you know well — the James Bond series. Photo: Christian Guthier.

When words and ideas collide you can develop a fresh, new take on things; it can be the beginning of a new narrative.

Often you benefit with emotion, the power to put feelings into people.

For example, in our office we have an expression for dull content.

The flabby, unfocused, inert stuff you see too much of these days.

We call it ‘topnotch mediocrity’.

It’s an expression that tends to drive your critical abilities harder; it makes you reassess what you’re doing in a clearer way.

More to that, nobody wants to be mediocre or even the best of the ordinary because we all know what success feels like.

Equally, we know Millennials aren’t going to fall for ‘ordinary’ because, how authentic is that?

So why approve iffy material in the first place? Send your agency back to the drawing board to take their thinking farther.

Another example of words and ideas colliding is ‘Rescued By Hitler’.

Meant to be ironic, it’s Ian Fleming’s comment about himself.

As you know he’s the author of the James Bond books.

Before WWII Fleming led a comfortable existence as a stockbroker and playboy.

Yet in his private mind he was adrift, going nowhere, unfulfilled.

But with the Nazi invasion of Poland he was ‘rescued’ with a posting in the Foreign Office to do vital war work . (Many thanks, Adolf.)

No doubt in this capacity he was a spy.

It’s thought he was engaged to ‘Set Europe Ablaze’ according to Churchill’s orders, as defined by those three famous words.

Ka-boom … armaments factories exploded, railway lines, bridges and dams in the German industrial heartland were attacked — disrupting the Nazi war effort was his trade.

What’s more, Ian Fleming was sent to Washington DC to organize a collaboration between the British and American intelligence organizations.

There he also assisted American covert operatives by laying out plans to create and run the CIA.

All this gave Ian Fleming purpose and eventaully benefited us all when he began to write — in his words — ‘fairy tales for adults’. The James Bond books.

He used his Foreign Office experience to give authenticity to the 007 material.

Maybe this is why people loved Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, From Russia, With Love and more.

It’s a compelling expression, ‘Rescued By Hitler.’ But it’s just a writing technique.

Use it to create your own messaging that will stop and engage your customers as well as your prospects.

Because when words collide, it often means you’re no longer doing advertising but engaging audiences with something better.

Namely, new interest that works for the moment someone buys.

Sainsbury’s, the supermarket people, did just that in an ad for their cakes.

The copy gives you a compelling two-word reason to shop at Sainbury’s  – ‘delicious confusion’ when it comes to their huge choice of cakes.

Making words collide courts the customer without the usual ‘widest choice’ claims while building appetite appeal in a new and emotional way.

Of course, this kind of advertising is non-linear thinking; it’s tough to do. But worth the effort.

Anything less and you risk one thing.

Chocolate cake that’s little more than ordinary.

Share your take on marketing thinking with us. What other techniques do you use to stop and engage an audience? Thanks, Steve Ulin

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