top of page

Marketing Secret No. 5 -- Innuendo and Storytelling

Please consider the ads below. Read the pitch and the tagline as they related to the images and the name of the brand.


The more emotional we feel about a brand or a product, the less likely we are going to feel skeptical. And our skepticism needs to be stripped away before we are ready to believe. Notice we said believe, and not buy? That's because belief must come before, to secure a purchase.

Take any beloved brand today using storytelling and one can see the ideas and concepts the brand suggest in its storytelling marketing makes the audience feel something. They feel an emotion, and anyone who has spent even a few minutes thinking about advertising will know that emotions sell, pure and simple.

In fact. when someone comes to your website, or sees your ad, or heck even meets you in person, these are the top 4 things on their mind in THIS order?

1. Why should I care? 2. Why should I believe you? 3. What do you do that solves my problems? 4. Big deal, what makes you different that others who make the same promises?

The most powerful way to make them feel something is to demonstrate how much you care about them and understand them, while at the same time making a connection between them and you. Remember our last discussion about branding? Well branding extends to subtle messaging, and that means when you demonstrate you know and understand someone and can relate to them, you win. It's when their needs, wants and desires overlap with your purpose for being and what makes you different.

In the ads above, we combined the name of the company "just" into an complex interplay of innuendo. The word "just" in the company name suggests that it's a specialist in one thing. Which must mean it knows that thing inside and out. This ad ran in a magazine that caters to triathletes. In the phrase "I have never failed, I JUST tried a bunch of times and never gave up," speaks to the heart of a triathlete and the rigorous training that is made up of a string of failures that lead to winning. Those failures are never looked at as true failure, that would mean giving up--something triathletes never do. By suggesting the brand knows and understands the mind of this kind of athlete something magical happens. In one fell swoop the ad, answers the questions of the reader: Why should I care? Why should I believe you? What do you do that solves my problems and so what? The next magic is in the tagline: "A family of triathletes providing the best quality suit for triathletes." It's SUPER meta. We get the message that this is a family-owned business made up of like-minded individuals who know the importance of quality when one's life is put on the line. That's a wallop of an idea delivered in innuendo. Which comes to the final way that brands create emotion with their customers--by being vulnerable, authentic and clever and NEVER talking down to the customer by spoon feeding every detail about themselves. Instead, by suggesting the customer is "in on the joke, or pun," the brand cares enough about them to bring them into their inner circle of COOL. We hope you found some value in this secret. Sound off by responding to this email. As always, the kindness of a referral is so appreciated, and if you ever need help, we are here.


bottom of page