Warning: I make no guarantees in regards to your gag reflexes after you scroll down.

This morning, I stumbled over to our local classifieds website and saw a sponsored (paid) advertisement along the top banner for an “upscale spa 4 men.”

I kid you not. Somebody’s advertising budget paid for this ad. I wish I could make this stuff up.

What interested me about the ad was the tiny thumbnail photo that went along with the ad. I couldn’t make out what it was. So my curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked through.

Upon clicking through the ad, I gagged a little bit. As I realized, the picture was a closeup of a half-shaved man’s nipple. I don’t know about this. But what I do know, is that it’s not a pretty picture.

OK, let’s have a little discussion about this.

The Problem:

I’m happy your spa offers the services to deal with the sometimes rather gruesome task of manscaping a manzilla, but I’m confused at to just exactly what’s upscale about this?

Sure, your spa may have some leather chairs. You might even have flat screen TV’s for me to watch the ball game. But I’m not seeing it.

It seems to me that we’re mixing two very different messages here.

If you’re promoting and adverting your “Upscale Spa,” and using this photo to do it, you’re totally missing the mark.

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The headline doesn’t fit. There’s nothing upscale about the half-shaved gorilla nipple photo.

One Simple Solution:

Rewrite the Headline.

If this is the route you’re set on taking, it could actually work. It could tell a story. It could have actually produced a return on your investment. Instead, we have two very mixed, off-the-mark messages.

Make a story out of the hairy chested man.

Make it fun! Add a little humor to it.

How about something like:

“Living with Big Foot? We can help – The Perfect Father’s Day Gift!”

More Solutions:

According to the 2007 bestselling book, “Made to Stick,” by Dan & Chip Heath, for a message to be “sticky” it needs to make use of the following traits for SUCCESs.

Simple: The message needs to be clear and concise. Upscale Spa 4 Men. Good enough. It’s simple, but it’s incorrect. Better would be, “Hairy Men Rejoice With Opening of New Local Spa!

Unexpected: There’s no doubt it’s unexpected. The problem is it’s the wrong type of unexpectedness. In this case, we might say something like, “Bet you didn’t expect see a close-up photo of a half-shaven hairy nipple from an upscale spa did ya?.”

Concrete: We want our messages to tap into the senses of our readers. This does, but again, there’s a disconnect here between the senses we’re trying to tap into.

Credible: Messages need to be credible. This is upscale? According to whom?

Emotional: We want our messages to appeal to the emotions of who we’re trying to attract. For example, “Tired of people thinking they’ve spotted Big Foot when they see you on the beach? Come visit our spa, we can help.”

Stories: The most powerful messages are built around stories. Remember Jared from Subway? That’s the perfect example of a sticky message built around a story. Fat guy loses weight eating fast food. P.S. It’s simple, unexpected, credible, concrete, emotional…etc.

For example, here we might say,”Meet Bob. Bob is very hairy man. So hairy that when Bob removes his shirt people mistake Bob for a wild animal. You can see before and after pictures of Bob below. If you’re like Bob, we can help.”

But if you’re really sold on the whole upscale thing, make it upscale! This ad won’t appeal to the affluent one bit.


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