Rinse & Repeat

Every mother on this planet teaches their child to “Do what you are told.”  Marketers are eternally grateful.

Take your shampoo bottle, for example.  One of the most powerful marketing “do what you are told messages” of all time was the introduction of the word “repeat” in the shampooing directions.  Formally the bottle stated:

1. Lather
2. Rinse

Then a genius marketer remembered what mom taught us and added the third direction.  Now the bottle directs you to:

1. Lather
2. Rinse
3. Repeat

Consumption of shampoo doubled.

Alka-Seltzer was running television commercials showing an individual suffering from an upset stomach, dropping a single tablet into a glass of water.

Plop. Fizz.
Herta Herzog-Massing, a famed marketer who influenced the advertising theory of Uses & Gratification (why and how people use media to address their needs), was also a master student of mom’s rule. Herzog-Massing suggested that Alka-Seltzer change the commercials to show an individual dropping two tablets into a glass of water.

Plop. Plop. Fizz. Fizz.

The sales of Alka-Seltzer doubled.

Learn More: Check out the “True Colors” chapter (Pages 76 to 100) of Malcolm Gladwell’s book What The Dog Saw to learn more about Herzog-Massing and similar applications of mom’s lesson.


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