Drawing Attention to Your Cause
I often feel silly when I first suggest to clients that they invest their campaigns in a cartoon-based approach. But it turns out there are some very concrete reasons for doing so. Cartoons have always scored the highest marks in editorial readership surveys.
They are almost always the best-read and best-remembered part of magazines and newspapers. If we consider the stack of mail that arrives daily in the millions of mailboxes around the country as collective works, just like magazines and newspapers are, it’s easy to see why a cartoon piece stands out so effectively.
In fact, most people have a built-in passion for cartoons. So it makes sense to turn that behavior into an advantage for your campaign. But it gets even better.
If you think about it, humor is about truth revealed. When we hear something funny, we laugh. And as the laughter subsides, an examination of the truth often follows. “Hey, it’s true. It is like that.” Or, “I know someone like that,” or, “I’ve been through something like that.”
That’s the nature of “getting it” when you hear something funny. It resonates as truth. You could think of a personalized cartoon on the outer envelope as a headline on steroids. It engages the recipient immediately, and, if done well, it creates a critical bridge in the form of a central point of agreement. And it seems to do that almost subliminally, bypassing the part of the brain that often dismisses appeals.
Cartoons, by their nature, delight the reader. So it’s no surprise that a mail piece bearing a cartoon can have the same effect. I’ve always felt it’s a lot more effective to thrill someone into an envelope than tease them in. Teasing, by its nature, taunts and disappoints the reader. I’d much rather have readers thrilled, intrigued and already in agreement with what I’m about to request of them in the rest of the piece.