They’ll tell 2 friends. And so on. And so on.

Those my age (or older), probably remember watching Love Boat on a Friday night. Well, in between drinks and double barrel finger points from Isaac and random love stories featuring guest stars like Charo and Don Ameche, you were interrupted by these things called “commercials”.

Commercials were different back then. Farah Fawcette hair. Memorable jingles. Crappy production value. And a lot of one shots of people talking directly to camera. They didn’t know any better and they certainly didn’t have the metrics to know they were wrong (although 4 out of 5 dentists probably would have told them so).

One of the most memorable spots for me wasn’t very good at all. But I’ll never forget it.
And given where we are in the advertising ecosystem, it should be taught to marketers on day 1. Have a look.

Why should we aspire to this piece of communication when it seems so bad?

1. It’s organic!
I don’t know that this was the first uttering of the word “organic” in a commercial but it certainly wasn’t the last. Brands all around the globe are clamouring to justify their products as organic. Why? Because consumers desperately want products that are simple and pure and sustainable. So while it’s great to dial up the earth tone colours and folksy language to try and appear more natural, your customers prefer you focus on actually making products that are.

2. Repetition helps.
While the split screen production technique certainly contributed to this campaign standing out over the years, it’s complemented by the repetitive line, “You’ll tell two friends. And they’ll tell two friends. And so on. And so on.” But the real repetition was the campaign. We seem to treat our communications like disposable diapers these days – they’re on one minute and at the first hint of odour, we pitch them in the garbage faster than you can say, “Pamper your agencies”. (Sorry) Instead of starting over, we should take a step back, rethink and reinvest.

3. It’s not about the Like. It’s about the product.
If this campaign was executed today, the line wouldn’t be, “You’ll tell two friends. And they’ll tell two friends. And so on. And so on.” It would be, “Please share this with 200 friends on Facebook and tell them to do the same. And so on. And so on.” Luckily, Faberge couldn’t do that because the platforms for simple social sharing weren’t around. So they did something truly remarkable: They created a product so good that you would want to tell two friends.

These days, we’re more focused on creating communications that ask people to spread the word instead of developing products so fantastic that they’ll just do it on their own.

Who knew Heather Locklear was so prophetic?
TJ Hooker would be proud.


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