About Face Book Review

About Face The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising 
If you're looking for a business/marketing book that is a true winner, you've just found one.  It takes a lot to really blow me away, but About Face – The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising did just that.

I'm a fan of author Dan Hill, so I went in with high expectations.  Dan did not disappoint.

About Face combines theory with specific actionable advice

There were two things I really liked about About Face.

  1. Focus on the why, not just the what.  The introduction title is "Science Meets Creativity."  We often see ads that are successful, but don't know exactly why the ad was successful.  My problem with "creativity" is that it's often difficult to replicate.  Dan Hill uses science like facial coding to actually measure true emotional reactions in test subjects. He shares research on how the brain reacts to different types of messages.
  2. Specific actionable recommendations.  The second, and  more important reason I like this book is that it gives you specific recommendations from wording of your ads to types and placement of images  I kept jotting down notes for clients I'm working with and specific ideas for improving their marketing materials.  Now THAT'S the sign of a book worth reading.

Dan points to this quote, "Advertising does not first get attention then create an emotion.  Advertising creates an emotion which results in attention."   I think this is the key to the whole book.

What you'll learn in About Face

  • Why the Billy Mays commercials worked so well.
  • Why pausing in a commercial can give it more emotional impact.
  • Why implied motion in images holds our attention. And why motion of any kind is often a winner. (This also helps to explain why this Men's Warehouse commercial works so well).
  • Why brain research suggests putting the still image on the left and copy on the right for more effective ads.
  • The greater number of people in a photo spread, generally speaking, the less positive consumers emotional response to it.  (Aka, having 5 people may be more effective than having 12).  You may have too many people to emotionally care about.
  • Why the lower right hand side of a marketing piece is the corner of death. (Yet it's one of the most popular places to put your company logo.)
  • What the 12 most persuasive words in the English language can tell us about which is a better motivator – pain or gain.  (Hint, most are defensively oriented.)
  • What's the number one negative emotion felt by us in response to advertising?  Frustration.  This is why simplicity and being crystal clear in your messaging are so important.  Just in case you're wondering, websites are plagued by frustration – 38%, the second highest in the survey.  Another reason to make sure your marketing is crystal clear?  Dan Hill points out that, "There's no money in making people feel stupid."

The power of familiarity

One of the best takeaways for me was the advantages of leveraging what's familiar. Here's what Dan Hill has to say:

The focus here is on generating likeability and preference through familiarity.  The operative emotion is assurance; the operative term is comfort. In marketing, what's unfamiliar tends to get screened out by us.  Go too far afield and you lose people.  A far better approach is to use an existing zone of comfort to ease our natural fear of change.

For instance, in TV spots that Sensory Logic has tested we've often seen a surge in both emotional engagement and positive feelings when something very familiar comes on the screen, even if the treatment itself isn't that special.  Familiarity increases acceptance.

The importance of faces and mirror neurons, especially when marketing to women

Finally, there's lots of research on faces and emotion  – Dan Hill's specialty.   The role of mirror neurons is especially important when marketing to women.  (Michele Miller wrote about this recently.)

The importance of using faces in advertising, and how to use those faces to most advantage, is something every advertiser should learn. 

In advertising the human face represents a treasure trove of opportunity to engage us and compel consideration and persuasion.

 So, get out there and get your copy of About Face – The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill.   Get ready to take lots of notes. 

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12 Responses to About Face Book Review

  1. Thanks for the recommendation and great book review—you’ve convinced me! Can’t wait for the book to arrive.

  2. Bi Sadong says:

    I can’t wait to have a copy for myself.

  3. So glad to know about this great book “about face”.
    I am willing to get it soon for myself.

  4. Laura says:

    You know I’m headed to your house now to steal your copy, right? Thanks, as always, for the great insight!

  5. Holly Buchanan says:

    Steal away. It’s a great read. I’ll be breaking into your house soon to peruse your library as well.

  6. The focus here is on generating likeability and preference through familiarity. The operative emotion is assurance; the operative term is comfort. In marketing, what’s unfamiliar tends to get screened out by us. Go too far afield and you lose people. A far better approach is to use an existing zone of comfort to ease our natural fear of change.

  7. The operative emotion is assurance; the operative term is comfort. In marketing, what’s unfamiliar tends to get screened out by us.

  8. Monitop says:

    There are several matkering techniques that are in use today. You can purchase leads from a lead provider normal cost is approximately $ 25.00-$ 35.00 per lead and there is a minimum purchase amount like about 100 per purchase. Some of these are retreads, so you are really guessing which are real or is this someone that just like talking on the phone.There are cheaper ones but they have been around the block a few times. So you are really guessing on these leads.There is telemarketing, but then there is the Do not call list So you have to be carefull there and not make a mistake or you will be sued.I suggest you secure your own leads by leaving the office and spending time in a area that you want to work and get to know the people that could be your future clients. Find an area in your city that you want to work approximately 5,000-10,000 houses. Make you enough flyers to cover your area. If you have children this will be a good weekend activity for them as well as yourself. While walking the area passing out your flyers, if you see someone out doing the lawn or just out introduce yourself, give them one of your cards. See if they are willing to give you their name and email address so you can email them, on a monthly basis, things about the mortgage industry as well as your monthly newsletter. Place any information you collect in a data base that you should start.Your flyer should tell them a little about you a few of the loan programs that you will be offerring and introducing. This is an indroductory flyer that you can make on your computer. You can get them ran off at Staples or Office Depot.You should pass these type flyers out at least 3 months in a row. This will let them know that you are sincere and look as if you will be there for them.You should also visit the local commercial places in the same area. Find out if they will allow you to place a flyer holder in their business, give them one of your business cards, find out theirname, write it down you never want to forget it because they will become one of your partners. buy something even if you are gonna give it away and don’t need it. Do this to as many commercial businessess in the area as will allow you to place a flyer holder in their place of business. You will find the flyer holders at Staples or Office Depot..Call the post office and inquire about their bulk mailing stamp. Get one and learn the system of bulk mailing. Also call your title company and get them to provide you with the names of the people in your area that you have been passing out your flyer.Remember your data base you were starting and now should have over a thousand names that you alone should have been able to get if you have been walking the area.Once you have passed out the flyers for at least 3-4 months start you a newsletter covering topics on the mortgage business. Get articles from your local newspaper as well as off the inernet. Just remember to give credit to the author of the article. You might have a doctor, lawyer or some other professional to help you on your articles. Charge them for the articles, about 50% of the cost of the newsletter.Now remember the businesses that you had your flyers in and you now know their names because you have been there to change your flyers about 2 times per month. Place your news letter in these businesses also.The best thing about these businessess is now you want to see if they will advertise in your business newsletter being sent to the local area in which their business is located. You should be able to charge them about $ 45.00 to $ 50.00 per business size card advertisement. Try and get them to place a coupon in the flyer offerring some type of discount if the customer bring the coupon in to their store.Now you will need a professional team to assist you in your business. You will need an attorney, a notary, a title rep, an insurance agent that sell homeowners insurance policies and a real estate agent. You should pass out their cards to your clients that need their services and they should pass out your business cards to their clients that need your services. This should give you a steady supply of referrals. This should not be a one way street, they should be helping you as much as they are in the habit of helping you. So you might have to change your professional team to get what need to be accomplished.Now that you have your bulk stamp, your newsletter and your data base that you have now added from your title rep to the names you had already. You are now ready to mail or email your newsletter each month.Don’t forget to offer your clients a FSBO package, where you will qualify their possible buyers if they are not pre-approved already. You will want to assist them in setting up an open house where you will be there to assist potential buyers and most importantly pre-approve all those that come to look at the house that aren’t. This will give you a steady source of leads also. This should aways be in your monthly newsletter that you will assist all those that want to sell their own property. You can charge them $ 500.00 for providing escrow service, title services, appraisals and other services they will need to close the transaction. With the $ 500.00 you should be able to place an ad in the local paper of all open houses you will be conducting on the 2nd and 4th weekend of each month or whatever weekend you chose to have open houses.What ever you do, don’t try to talk them out of selling their own home, you are there to assist and get to the clients that need pre-approval for loans to purchase homes. They would not be at an open house unless they were considering buying. Always have an ample supply of 1003 s on hand.I hope this has been of some help to you, good luck. FIGHT ON

  9. Lines locl crcking with het-shrinkble tube to hndle, remove the hedset unit, the first open hedphones shell, nd then with soldering iron hot down the line, you cn esily hedphone line drwn out. Note tht the best mrk out before the left nd right chnnels. Then cut suitble period of het-shrinkble tube set up.

  10. Mhmd says:

    EBollocks, HTC. If Samsung can crank out 2 3.0 tablets by the same time you get one out, then your arugnemt is void. Maybe if you spent less time arsing about with Sense and actually developing on the platform Google have specified is for tablets, you wouldn’t have to make silly excuses like this.

  11. Orimoloye says:

    They exist, just not on the shows most Black audiences tend to watch. For epaxmle, Jasika Nicole as Astrid on Fox’s Fringe, Freema Agyeman on BBC America’s Law & Order: UK, she was also on Doctor Who, and Lenora Crichlow on Being Human UK also on BBC America. All strong, multi-faceted unique and interesting characters that young Black women can look up to. Sometimes you do have to look in the unexpected places and break out of the comfort zones. I’d also add Rashida Jones on Parks and Recreation even though I admit some would say that her role on there is non-racial . I wouldn’t necessarily agree.

  12. Ibing says:

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