It’s too much you – why you shouldn’t be in your own commercials

Owner A day or so ago, I donned a Kevlar suit and stated the truth

99% of business owners should not star in their own marketing – especially TV and radio.

As I predicted, the article generated many phone calls and e-mails.  Lots of people took it personally. 


You see, when you start in your own commercial, your message, by default, is about you.  How long you've been in business, how many XY or Z you sell a month, that your granddad started the business at the turn of the century, etc. 

Here is a harsh but true fact.  Your potential customers could care less.  They care about themselves.  And what they need and want.

When they see a TV commercial or print ad or website – they want to see themselves.  They want to see their problems solved or even better, averted.  They want to see how their lives could be better, easier, faster, more posh or sexier.  They do not want to see your grandkids.  No matter how cute they are.

I mentioned that you look a little uncomfortable and stiff in your spots.  But it's more than that.  It goes beyond that fact that while you're great at what you do, what you do isn't acting in front of a camera. 

It is much more than the reality that spokespeople are prettier than most of us average joes or janes. It boils down to a fundamental reality.  Your customers are only interested in you because you can do something for them.  That's why they will give you their most precious resources – their time and attention.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.  Sometimes, you and only you can star in your marketing.  We'll delve into that one next.

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7 comments on “It’s too much you – why you shouldn’t be in your own commercials

  1. Lindsay says:


    After reading your previous post on this, There I was, just beginning to think Drew has really gone overboard this time, he’s really going to cop it in the neck for this… the ego’s will bite back…

    You are absolutely right of course, but, you
    had to go and say it publicly… then I read this post, and I relaxed a little, I stopped worrying that you would be hung up by your gentle parts.
    Because your second post explains exactly why this type of advertising is often just downright embarrassing to watch, and fails to make sales.

    I will sleep tonight, relaxed and confident your life is safe once again. 🙂

  2. Lindsay,

    I am so glad you’ll be able to rest easy and it’s heartening to know you were worried about me. Thank you!

    I knew this was a hot topic and would generate some “discussion” both in the comments and in e-mail. But, it really needs to be said. I feel sort of sorry for the poor saps who are in their own ads. Everyone keeps lying to them so they think they’re actually good.

    Thanks for working about my various and sundry parts!


  3. Lewis,

    Do you think that’s a shift in consumer perspective? Did our parents or their parents care about the companies they did business with or has it always been ‘what’s in it for me?”


  4. Drew,

    I could not agree more with this. Why should I trust the bozo that started the company if he talks about himself and the business. I want to know how the product will fulfill my need.

    It does make me laugh to see my friends on TV selling their products. It’s just so out of character from the perception that I have of them.

  5. Piotr,

    It is a very rare business owner who can look comfortable on TV. It’s compounded by the fact that usually the local TV station is shooting the spot. They don’t have the resources to dedicate an entire day to shoot.

    Which means the uncomfortable business owner gets rushed. Which hardly adds to the success of the spot.


  6. The WORST is that Dick Enrico with the used fitness equipment stores. He has little dolls of himself that look like Hitler.

  7. Mike,

    LOL! Very, very true. Even if his little dolls didn’t look like Hitler — I think the whole doll thing is a very bad idea!

    And in fairness, even without the dolls he should not do his own ads.


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