Be Optimistic In Advertising
( Originally Published 1902 )
The commercial value of a cheerful, happy disposition is everywhere acknowledged. The traveling salesman with his bright, cheery face and his bundle of jokes and stories is everywhere welcomed to his employer's benefit, and the salesman behind the counter sells many a good dollar's worth by the virtue of an amiable and cordial disposition. A laugh, smile or bright word has helped countless thousand sales, while on the other hand, the depressing influence of the pessimist has dampened the ardor of many an intending purchaser and spoiled many a possible sale.
Now, if the optimist is so welcome in every day face-to-face commercial life, and the pessimist is equally unwelcome, it stands to reason that all advertising should be optimistic—that it should breathe the spirit of hopefulness and expectancy of quick-selling and satisfactory trading.
The optimistic spirit is infectious—especially so in advertising. Once you give people the idea that all is well with you, that business is lively, that customers are flocking to your doors and dollars are coming in your direction, then you are all the more likely to be successful.
Human nature is peculiar, and one of its great peculiarities is to be attracted by the successful. Success wins greater successes. The successful business man finds it easier to sell goods than his less successful rival, who may even have better values to offer.
It is not necessary to lie in order to be optimistic in your advertising. All that is necesary is to be good-natured and happy in your statements, to utter nothing that may savor of disappointment, envy or anger. Never jump on your competitor in your ad. The moment you do this you give the fact away that competition is hurting you. Let your ads breathe the Wanamaker air-good will towards all, malice towards none. In the West the optimistic spirit is cultivated to an unusual degree—this feeling of light-heartedness has lightened many a weary load during the recent few years of commercial depression.
When you read the ads of the Nebraska Clothing Co. you will at once observe their optimistic strain. These ads were written and printed by a concern who always seem to be particularly pleased with themselves, and everybody in Kansas City and Omaha, because their trade is so good, and once in a while their bubbling feeling of happiness finds vent in a humor so clever that the brightest wits of the day cannot discount it. They have built up a big business by being so optimistic in their advertising. Why can't you?