Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Bob Saget Effect

People like to be surprised. I'm talking full-on, cigar-smoking, curse-slinging Bob Saget surprised. I just watched his roast on Comedy Central and I got to thinking that we could build an entire marketing theory class around this guy. Forget Madonna, this guy is the King of re-invention. Although, I'm not certain he is actually re-inventing anything -- just revealing himself. First, let's just reflect for a moment about this photo shoot:

They really loved that sweater. "Bob, let's get a close up of you in that acrylic number. Yes, hand on cheek, gently... not too masculine...perfect...and a little semi-smile, just a bit, not too teeth...yes...yes... Got it!" So, what's so fabulous is that this guy was actually acting. He really was acting. All through the Eighties -- laughing at little twin babies who can't talk so well, hugging awkward teenage daughter, paltry jokes, semi-smiles. Eight years of this. AND we haven't even begun to talk about America's Funniest Home Videos. Which is known by the entire South as AFHV. It actually is known by the acronym -- and Saget is the God of the acronym to the most conservative faction of our global society. He may be the best actor of our time. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he is. He is the best actor of our time. Because he's a dirty old man. A dirty, dirty, lover of spandex-wearing Hollywood hotties, dirty old man. Or maybe that's an act, too. Jesus. He's the Einstein of pop culture. And he's funny. Surprisingly funny. Dirty and funny.

Now, what does dirty and funny have to do with advertising, you might ask? Or maybe you are not asking, in which case you probably work at Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, or some scary little shop down a back alley in Las Vegas. Well, it has to do with surprising your audience. We love to discover something new about our brands. We love little unexpected presents. We love secrets, discovery and mystery. The best brands offer engaging new products, hidden campaigns for the most zealous of supporters, operational solutions, brand experiences beyond reason. They surprise us. Over and over again. It's the Bob Saget Effect. I'm not suggesting you run out and make a Keynote about the Bob Saget Effect, unless you have some really liberal clients -- like Hugh Hefner liberal -- but I do believe we should embrace this thinking when our brands seem tired and our consumers even more so. Just peek beneath the acrylic sweater. Just a bit, not too much...


WILLIAM said...

Andy Kaufman is another great example.

No are right, just revealing.

I will compare Brands to modern day Strippers. Strippers today get up on the "cat-walk" wearing a bikini. They dance for a song and take off their top. They dance for another song and take off their bottom. Everything is revealed in two songs. The patron has seen it all and is now either eating for a $20 lap dance or he wants to see the next stripper.

In the old days, strippers stripped. They did a burlesque. Slowly reveleaing what thye had. Thye kept the patrons interested for a longer time. The strippers were not interested int he quick $20 lap dance. They knew that by doing a slow revela thye could get more in the long run.

Gretchen said...

Now you'v put an image of Bob Saget stripping in my head. I won't shake this all day.

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