The light and the dark of contemporary messaging.

It’s a sign of the times when you’re listening to the radio and an ad for Red Cross Blood Donation comes up enticing you to “Give blood and in return have an hour of free time to relax.” Knowing how these advertising crews craftily come up with strategies (I know because I used to be part of one) they choose a ‘sore’ point for their target demo – in this case young professionals who may have young families and are most certainly crazy busy with zero time to relax – and BANG… hit them right where it hurts.

In this case I think it was a smart punch. Unfortunately, not all advertising comes from the ‘light’.

This same technique works a treat for all kinds of marketing. The good, the bad, the dark and the light. Scarcity seems to be the powerful driver behind it all.

No time to cook? Easy, “Here’s our new value meal. Chicken and chips in a bucket. Bosh.”

Having a tough month financially and can’t afford our new product (that you probably don’t need anyway)? “No worries, this payment scheme is for you.” Yeah, because I need to spend more money I don’t have…”

Not pretty enough? Fit enough? Skinny enough? “Try this new pill, follow my Instagram feed so I can show you (daily) how flat my tummy is – making harsh comparison that much more convenient for you.” Killer.

Don’t take my sarcastic tone as all bad.

I think there’s some conscious commercial messaging out there, the Red Cross radio ad I mentioned being one of them, and I think that’s why it caught my attention.

I was like, hey that’s a great idea. An hour to relax whilst doing a good thing. Win Win. I think perhaps those on the other end of the colour spectrum don’t strike a cord anymore is because I’ve become so numb to them. And ps, I worry about teenage girls growing up being exposed to daily comparison on a much broader scale than when I was in high school. But this is a whole other topic.

If there’s one thing I’m really proud of at Flow Athletic, it’s that the team, when coming up with a new marketing concept, always asks either, “Is this going to be a remarkable experience?” (because this ties in heavily with our mission) or “Does this contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community.” And ultimately if it does, it turns around and benefits us also. We retain and gain clients, and hundreds of Paddington residents feel great.

The thing is, everyone has an agenda. Everyone needs to make a dollar but I reckon you can still do it consciously, whilst being in service of others. And that’s far more fulfilling, yeah?