The secret identity in each of us.
Our life long search for meaning.
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl observes from his 3-year experience in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II that even though all captives were experiencing the same dire situation, some remained happy while others were constantly depressed. He explains that when we search for mere happiness it leads us to depression because we are never satisfied. But when we focus on meaning then we find happiness.
"What sets human beings apart from animals is not the pursuit of happiness, which occurs all across the natural world, but the pursuit of meaning, which is unique to humans..." – Viktor Frankl
Our job, as marketers, is to add meaning to the mundane.
My partner Jeff Sexton reminded me of one of my favorite chapters from The Wizard of Ads: “Selling to Walter Mitty.” The classical story of a henpecked man who had vivid dreams being an admired army captain.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a favorite American story because it speaks to the Mitty in each of us. Who among us has never played cowboy, astronaut, princess, or nurse? … it is silly to pretend that our outward choices are not influenced by the people we are inside.
If we insist on intellectual honesty, we must urge …Walter to abandon [his] childish dreams. But if we would sell our product and make two customers happy, we will speak not to a tired old man and a henpecked husband, but will eloquently address the needs of a chivalrous knight and an intrepid army captain.
It’s called Advertising."
Elon Musk doesn’t just sell Tesla cars; he is solving our dependency on oil and gas. If he was merely selling cars, his business would never have gained its huge fan base and his cars wouldn’t be unsettling the car market.
Listen to him speak about Tesla. It’s inspiring.
Steve Jobs didn't build Apple computers and iPhones, he built a tool to increase the capacity of the human mind. Listen to how Steve Jobs explains it.
Are you inspiring your customers? Or simply selling a product?
P.S. Today's article is dedicated to the memory of the 11 millions people that parished under the Nazi regime during World War II.
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner