Much has been writ­ten about the myth of secret seduc­tion. Rough­ly and in its essence, the myri­ad of aut­hors who wri­te about this topic can be divi­ded into two factions:

First, the prac­ti­tio­ners. They set up a set of rules, how an adver­ti­se­ment, a pos­ter, a video, an inter­net pre­sence or a bro­chu­re should appear. They con­tain hel­pful hints in order to obtain the best results and to assert ones­elf more suc­cessful­ly and more effec­tively in the field of the com­pe­ti­ti­on. For­mu­las are meti­cu­lous­ly drawn up as to how it should be and how lar­ge, how long or short a mes­sa­ge may be, how and whe­re the logo is to be pla­ced and how lar­ge or small the image has to be. A video, a spot, a jing­le is timed to the mil­li­se­cond, and sound and music are pre­cis­e­ly pre­scri­bed. Spon­ta­n­ei­ty is avo­ided like the pla­gue, and ide­as are for­bidden in wri­ting: prag­ma­tism in its purest form. Fool­pro­of gua­ran­tee of suc­cess? Not a chance.

The second group con­sists of scho­lars. They take the trou­ble to meti­cu­lous­ly list the effects of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and people’s beha­vi­or. With the help of the most modern medi­cal sen­sors and the latest sci­en­ti­fic fin­dings on brain rese­arch, the­se scho­lars stri­ve to bring to light the one and only truth in order to intro­du­ce us to the secret of uni­ver­sal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. With the result that all the­se books, artic­les, expo­sés, e‑books, landing pages, etc. eit­her gather dust in the archi­ves or – far more alar­mingly – con­tri­bu­te to the gene­ral confusion.

Of cour­se, both groups also offer their know-how on the stan­dard com­mer­cial sec­tor. And for a hef­ty fee, they help com­pa­nies that want or need to hear why some­thing does­n’t and can’t work in advertising.The exis­tence of inco­me oppor­tu­nists (to put it poli­te­ly) is secu­red as long as new sci­en­ti­fic fin­dings exist and entre­pre­neurs who don’t real­ly get it.

But, in fact, it is real­ly simp­le. It was Napo­le­on, who said wit­hout any cyni­cal appeal: „The­re are two moti­ves for human action: Self-inte­rest and fear.“ It’s that simp­le – and that clear. Then why can’t we under­stand it as sim­ply? Publi­cist Robert R. Upde­graff tells us in his clas­sic book, Obvious Adams – The Sto­ry of a Suc­cessful Busi­ness­man, „We don’t pay atten­ti­on to the simp­le things becau­se we know them so well.“

More on our blog “Think befo­re doing”