The Creepiness of self-promotion

The Creepiness of Self-Promotion
It’s a slight change, but it makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?

The photo comes courtesy of a rather clever ad campaign for The Cape Times — something I was turned onto by the always-wonderful No Caption Needed blog. The intent was to make us see these iconic photos with new eyes, allowing the idea of a self-taken-phone-camera-pic to shake up a classic. And it worked.

But it also transformed the photos into something creepy, especially this one.

It’s one thing to look on as the ecstasy of victory so overcomes a sailor’s sensibilities that he kisses a stranger in the street; it’s entirely another when the sailor still has the self-awareness to phone-pic himself during his supposed blissed-out moment.

Sometimes, it’s just a whole lot better when someone else is controlling the camera and the spotlight. In fact, not just sometimes but often.

Translating this to advertising and marketing:

  • When others sing your praises, it comes off as credible and genuine; when you sing your praises, you come off as a wanna be Donald Trump
  • When reviews praise an item to the sky, we believe it; when product copy does so, we read it with a large grain of salt
  • When you tell me how great someone else is, you come off as passionate; when you tell me how great you are, you come off as arrogant

Well… you get the picture. Why not let someone else hold the camera.  Or, if you’ve got the camera, why not point it at something other than yourself?

This article was written by my brilliant partner, Jeff Sexton.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Morty SilberComment