•The Grayson Report
PLAIN AND SIMPLE, the practice of
engaging a consumer with some
factor of persuasion is what marketing is really all about. Ultimately,
it is how we go about this that sepa-
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON ARE RESPECTED, PROFES-
SIONAL MARKETERS, HAVING SPENT THEIR CAREERS WITH
THE LEADING COMPANIES IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
BEFORE STARTING THEIR SUCCESSFUL CONSULTING BUSI
NESS IN THE EARLY 1970S.
THEIR CONSULTING CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED AVON,
BRISTOL-MYERS, ESTÉE LAUDER, PROCTER &
GAMBLE, REVLON AND COVER GIRL, AMONG OTHERS.
THEY RESIDE IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA AND MAINTAIN AN OFFICE IN NEW YORK CITY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, THEY CAN BE REACHED AT
rates the good guys from the also-rans. The day of Sgt. Friday’s “Just
the facts ma’am” have pretty much
passed with the demise of Dragnet—
except, of course, in tech ads where,
regardless of the subject, “mine is
bigger than yours” rules the roost.
There are several touch-points to
reach consumers,(which is how many
ad budgets are calculated; i.e., reach
and frequency is the hallmark for
media buying). Okay, so you reach
them by the numbers with magazines, internet, TV and so on. But
good and impactful advertising
should be about engaging consumers.
Within each medium, there are a
variety of ways to “engage.” You can
engage with a startling headline,
arresting graphic, artful copy or
cause marketing. And each of these
can be blown up to dominate the ad.
Yet, it’s quite remarkable how few
beauty ads truly engage the consumer.
In THEADAUDIT, which appears
bimonthly in HAPPI, engagement is a
key element of the analysis protocol.
With so many ads missing that emotional component, no wonder so
many print ads are lacking in effectiveness. The vast majority of beauty
industry ads are left brain centric—
rational/logical with few appeals to
feelings and emotions. Many an ad
drops down in rating having missed
One method of engagement is “the
story.” Telling a story can be persuasive, involving, compelling and memorable, like no other communication.
It can create a warm and fuzzy feeling, spark a sense of wonder, titillate
the mind, create a call to action and
so on. Going back in history, David
Ogilvy used this technique with
Mercedes while Oil of Olay built the
brand with ads of a thousand words.
And today, where would Strivectin be
without its compelling story? Yes, the
story of “how a stretch cream became
the No. 1 skin cream,” is still making
news, long after “Better than Botox?”
was the great lead-in to the “
engagement” answer to the question.
A Long History of Stories
So, let us set out to make the case
for this type of communication.
Stories, per se, have their foundation
going back thousands of years as the
only method of providing learning
and history. Fast-forward to last
night when your child asked you to
read a story. Why? Yes, that “story”
per se is the logical answer, but the
Stories teach, share
meaning and ultimately
lead us down a path
unspoken reason is to keep you there
with him longer in order to bond/
engage. Stories are in our DNA. And
the big bonus is that good story
advertisements engage you to the
Stories teach, share values, provide
meaning and ultimately lead us
down a path to action. But, in case
we misled you, stories don’t have to
be long-copy advertisments. There is
a compelling story with Nike. “Just
do it!” You write the copy (your story)
every time you see the logo or tie up
In sum, stories provide engagement by reporting experiences, opinions and hearsay to provide a true
connection to the reader’s emotions.
Next time, ask yourself, “Is this ad
talking to me, or to millions?”
Hoping to illustrate a “story” ad,
we searched the current issues of
Vogue, Elle, Allure, Glamour, etc., but
alas, we were unable to find even
one example. We did find one that
attempted engagement by borrowing